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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 // LJ Idol Friends And Rivals // LJ Idol Season 10


Venus

Whew!

Breathing a big sigh of relief that Biden's Presidential Inauguration concluded smoothly. I wasn't able to watch it, so I'll have to hunt down select video clips later. HalfshellHusband reports that Michelle Obama looked fantastic, and that the Inaugural poem by 22-year-old Amanda Gorman was impressive!

I am looking forward to the return of sanity, dignity, and purpose at the national level. The last 4 years have been a long, horrifying, clown escapade of aggressive narcissism and incompetence, and have caused immense damage to our culture in addition to our democracy. I hope we can recover from this, though I know it will take time.

We didn't do much over this past holiday weekend. I can't help thinking back to a year ago, when HSH and I made a post-Christmas visit to my family up in Oregon. That's impossible now, and I don't know when we'll have the chance again. It might be another year beyond now, though I certainly hope not. :( :(

I did do some clean-up around the house (though not enough), tackled most of my sewing pile (months overdue), and worked far too long on my Idol entry (which is here, with a link to the poll at the bottom for voting). I wanted to do some serious yardwork, because the weather was gorgeous! But I only got in about 90 minutes on Monday, through and into the dark, doing some weeding and digging up the stray paperwhite bulbs that were missed during my massive Spring removal project.

I couldn't help noticing that a patch of daffodils is in bloom already, much too early. \o?

We also watched Apocalypse, Now over the course of three evenings, though it was more like "Apocalypse, NOT!" instead. HSH and I had never seen the movie, and I was finally ready to. But what I got from Netflix instead was the "Redux" version, which contained 50 extra minutes of material not included in the theater version, and which honestly were better left out. So, basically, I STILL haven't seen the movie I intended to. I saw a long, sprawling thing with random dragginess and gratuitious T&A, and have no feeling for the pacing and impact of the official movie that critics have praised for decades. \o?

Terrific performances, though. Maybe in 5-10 years I can try watching the right version of the movie?

Venus

Idol Survivor: "Circuit Overload"

Circuit Overload
idol survivor | individual immunity #3 | ~1650 words
Touchy Subjects

x-x-x-x-x

Ow! Ow-ow-ow-ow-ow!

I am probably one of the touchiest people you'll ever meet, and it has nothing to do with irritability or sensitive feelings.

No, I'm talking about touchiness in relation to the physical world, where all five senses "go up to 11" for no good reason. I'm over-wired and sometimes overwhelmed, and there is no upside to any of it, at least not in the modern world.

It's not like the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale, where the prize for being hypersensitive is marrying a prince (although for years, HalfshellHusband referred to me as his Princess and Pea wife, and he is definitely my prince). Mostly, it just makes the world more annoying for me, which can lead to complaining. And complaining makes me annoying to other people!

Light sensitivity is the least troublesome—I rarely get blasted by sudden, blinding glare unless I go outside, and even then, I'm usually fine as long as I have sunglasses. Otherwise, I'm like a mole. Hearing is a different story—horns, sirens, screaming, yelling, and barking dogs are all painful. I thought it would get better as I got older, because everyone's hearing fades a little then. But the high range hasn't changed at all—it's the middle range that's murkier now, the area where conversations occur. So, the kitchen timer is as piercing as ever, but I have to turn on subtitles for TV programs if the background music or sound effects are too loud. It's the worst of both worlds! \o?

Hundreds of years ago, I might have kept a village safe from intruders, but now I just keep myself from sleeping unless the heavy-duty earplugs are in. Sometimes, I have to sandwich my head between pillows, too.

The increased sense of smell isn't too bad, except where it also causes a stronger sense of taste. Mostly, I smell things sooner than most people and can identify the odor more easily… unless it's the nexus of bleach/oxyclean/mold/mildew. The nasty Oxy ingredient in dish soap started to smell like mildew to me a few years ago, and now they're all munged together. So, it seems like I'm using mildew to remove mildew. Ugh.

But I assume other people know what it's like when perfume or cologne are strong they're three-dimensional, and you can taste them? And surely I'm not the only one bothered by those two spots on the Sacramento bike path that have smelled like a sewer for months now? Though if that's true, WHY hasn't someone done something about it? I am thisClose to putting Vicks Vapo-Rub under my nose before rides now, like a TV detective in an autopsy room.

Now, the tasting issues are the real deal—I can't minimize those. I don't know how to separate them from being a supertaster, either, because there's also that.

Do you remember the scene in "When Harry Met Sally," where Harry says, "On the side is a very big thing with you," and Sally says, "I want what I want"? Being particular is definitely part of it, but usually the reason is about avoiding too much of something.

Too much salad dressing (and its calories). Too much sauce, because while the menu description of the preparation looks good, what if it isn't? God, what if it's so awful that I have to scrape all the sauce off after it's already contaminated all the food around it? Or, if the meal includes fruit… what if the cook dumps the fruit on top of the eggs, pancakes, or French toast, and now those taste like watermelon or pineapple or whatever? Yuck! Lived and learned.

Unless I forget to ask the waiter to leave things "off" the dish. Sometimes, that's guesswork—you'd be surprised what restaurants don't consider worth mentioning on the menu: minced parsley (evil!), onions (and all their relatives, which still taste like onions), cucumbers… Not only do I not want to bite into any of those, I don't even want them there temporarily, since their flavors all "bleed" into everything they touch.

My younger sister has joked for years that I need "army plates" for my food, with separate sections for everything. Yay. But I think I'm just more aware of "cross-contamination" than most people. Some foods taste fine in combination with other foods. Others don't—or I just want to enjoy their flavors separately.

And it turns out that when it comes to cucumbers, my younger sister has exactly the same opinion about their ability to destroy everything they touch, so hah!

I think this is all pretty typical for people whom others consider "picky eaters," but there's more.

While the proportion of flavors matters to most people, which flavors do they mean? For me, it includes things other people usually overlook. Submarine sandwiches all have too much bread—I can hardly taste the contents. Pasta needs lots of sauce, or it just tastes like noodles. I hate rice, so it has to be buried in spice (e.g., Chinese, Thai, East-Indian food) before I'll eat it.

And hot sauce is a missed opportunity, because it almost always uses vinegar as a preservative, and that ruins the overall flavor for me.

You'd think a "discerning palate" would help with cooking, and maybe it does. I experiment with seasonings until something tastes just right, and that works out well for my family. Until HalfshellHusband asks me how much of everything I added in, so he can duplicate the recipe later, and…who knows? I wasn't paying attention.

I also don't know what other people taste, so I'm careful about things that matter to me and possibly no one else. My family probably thinks I'm wasting my time each year when I separate all of the mint-related things and the peanut-butter-related things into separate Ziploc bags before putting them in the Christmas stockings, so their flavors don't contaminate the rest of the chocolate. I mean, I love all of those flavors, but I also like chocolate by itself. And mint and PB together in the chocolate? What a horrible idea. :O

HalfshellHusband asked me just the other day whether I have separate mugs for coffee and for tea, and of course I do! I can use the same mug for coffee and for hot cocoa, but the mugs are usually hand-washed, and tea and coffee have incompatible flavor residue. Yes, flavor residue is totally a thing—at least, for me!

As for the last of the five sense… as with taste, it's hard to separate sensitive skin from being sensitive to touch. My skin bruises, blisters, and sunburns easily. Sunblock is a necessity, and while my mother has never worn socks in her adult life, I get blisters from dress shoes, sandals, and flip-flops. Even wearing regular shoes with good socks will do it, if I walk long enough.

Fabric deoderizers give me a rash, and most toothpastes make my mouth peel. And you can track some of my regular misadventures by the height of the corresponding bruise: bicycle pedal, kitchen counter, towel rack, oven-door handle, door latch. Is it funny or just pathetic? Or both?

But the fact is, a lot of regular touch hurts more than it should. Pressure on the skin over a bone hurts, or sometimes just firm contact. I had the "pets, not pats" conversation with HalfshellHusband again last Friday, because his idea of patting me on the arm or shoulder feels like whomp-whomp-whomp, which does not convey the special feeling he's aiming for…

This could partly be the redhead gene (which is also a thing), but it's hard to be sure. My mom is pretty sensitive to pain too, but she doesn't have the same problems with basic irritation that I do. For instance, she can wear lace (which I find itchy), and her clothes all still have their tags. Tags! Right on the neck over the spine and everything! Most of mine are gone, and I once had a sweater I'd worn three or four times before the tag suddenly became so obnoxious, I wound up hiding in a restroom stall at work and sawing through the threads with the scissors on my miniature Swiss Army knife! That tag had to go.

I developed a hate-on for my underwear while I was out running errands a few weeks ago, because the "tagless" product info in the back had turned into some kind of evil, scratchy plastic. I seriously considered:

1) Going back home to change,
2) Buying new underwear and changing over in a store bathroom, or
3) Ripping the back of the underwear out and throwing the whole thing away later.

Also not the first time I had worn that underwear., but apparently it mutated on me!

Oddly enough, though, as I get older I'm also starting to become more like my dad. We used to say that my dad was so pain-insensitive, he was just a couple of steps shy of having to worry about accidentally burning himself on a lit stove. Where other people needed morphine for post-surgical pain, he would use Tylenol. And he would come in from working in the yard and have a bleeding gash on his arm, but when you asked about it, he'd say, "Oh, how'd I do that?"

So now, while cuts and bruises and banging into things probably hurt as much as they always have… I'll often forget about them, unless they were epically bad or I broke something in the process. Broken bones keep on hurting for weeks and weeks afterward, so obviously, I remember those. But scrapes and gashes, and even typical bruises? Sometimes I have no idea when or how those happened.

Compared to a lifetime of "Ouch!" and having the physical makeup of a delicate flower, that seems like an improvement to me. It's better than the alternative!

Well, probably. I mean, as long as I remember to stay away from the stove…


--/---

If you enjoyed this story, please vote for it here!

Venus

Discombobulated

I was thinking today about how much I wished viagra lived closer, so I could go hiking with him—except that he's in Florida, on the other side of the country. *sigh* Then I realized that I hadn't hiked in the Sierras in eons, and briefly wondered if it was too late to try to fit that in this year before the snow season. Because it was what, October right now?

Ahahahahahaha!

And this was after putting away the indoor Xmas decorations last night, and taking down and packing up most of the outdoor Xmas lights over the weekend! What a year, what a year...

The remaining outdoor lights are along the roofline and in one of the front-yard trees, and HalfshellHusband usually takes those down... but I might wind up having to do them, too. They're a pain because I am not tall, and can't always reach where I need to. Unlike the other household members, who are 4, 8, and 10 inches taller than me. :/ I also need to take a bucket out there and clean the mud off of all the extension cords (because we have no groundcover, so the cords all get dirty).

Getting them down is still easier than putting them up, though my real challenge over the past few years has been how to power the lights across the various dead spots in the front yard. There are a few places next to the house and in the front planter-bed where things consistently die, even when we re-plant them. Both of those areas are like this:

Plant 1: Hi. Still midgatory. Maybe next year.
Plant 2: *is ded*
Plant 3: *is ded*
Plant 4: Hi?
Plant 4: *kkkh* *k-k-k-k-k-kkkkkh!* *is ded*

I just realized that this year's dead-ee was a replacement we planted 15-20 years ago after its predecessor died, so not as pathetic as I'd thought. Still a pain, though.

I really enjoy Xmas lights, though other houses' holiday displays are hit-or-miss as more and more people switch over to LED lights. The neighbor across the street used to have dangling off-white icicle lights across the front of her house. Now, she just has a long Hell-strand of those sickly-gray "white" LED bulbs. They're like a ghoul beacon, there to draw in all of the doomed souls to feast on any large elves and stray reindeer that might happen to be nearby. :O

Inflatables are also increasingly popular, offering "holiday cheer with low effort," as our son puts it. You can guess where he gets his pragmatism from. ;) There's quite a variety of those. Near the bike path, there's a T-Rex in a Santa hat clutching a present in his tiny, useless claws, and also a bear and a penguin with a (???) dark red treat-sack shaped like a pumpkin. I could swear I've mentioned that one before, because I have a sneaking suspicion that it's probably made in China and created from a pattern that is only slightly modified from another pattern used to produce a ghost, a penguin, and an actual pumpkin as a Halloween decoration. :O

In our own neighborhood, we have Santas in airplanes, a Santa in army camo (whatever), too many Olafs, a couple of large chipmunks with vaguely munching mouths, a spinning snowglobe, a dachsund, and at least one Abominable Snowman. Most are out in people's yards, or occasionally on the roof. But once, while I was out walking in the dark, I spotted a porch display that featured a Santa, a regular-looking snowman, and a janky-ass snowman that looked like something a drunk put together in the dark. It was mystifying—why bother with the crappy second snowman?

Until I got closer, and saw that the janky snowman was actually an inflatable BB-8. And then I felt bad for thinking all of those pejorative thoughts about its lack of quality and attractiveness. Sorry, little droid-let. :O

Venus

Arghhhh. W.H.Y.?

The night before last, I was in the bathrooom getting ready for bed and apparently was too close to one of the walls. While trying to get my t-shirt off, I cracked my right elbow on the wall surface, and Sonofabitch! Oh, it was painful, and it still is. Even the pressure of a sweater against it hurts.

I think I chipped or broke a little bit of the bottom of the bone there, and this is not even the first time in the last 12 months! Same elbow, too. Whyyyyyyyyy? /o\

Venus

Last voting day

Today is the last day to vote for this week's Survivor Idol stories, so please take a look at my story here. There is a link to the poll at the bottom to vote for it and any other favorites you may discover. Thank you!

I think I'm about to need a new library book, because it feels like Set My Heart To Five is finishing up. This one has been very sweet—it's a story set in the 2050s (after humans have incinerated the moon and done other stupid things), and features a dentist-bot who unexpectedly develops feelings and wants to write the ultimate movie screenplay that will make the world safe for bots with feelings... because otherwise, such bots are 'wiped' for being defective.

The bot-narrator's sense of humor is kind of irksome at first, but then you realize how very innocent and chipper he is. If you've ever been on the Star Tours "Journey to Endor" ride at Disneyland, at the beginning of the ride the robot pilot introduces himself and then says, "I know this is probably your first flight, and it’s… mine, too! Ha ha!" The bot-narrator of this story is very much in that same perky-idiot vein, and he really grows on you. :)

So, what next after this? I'm not sure. A lot of the books in my e-library Wishlist are only available on-hold, and several from my Goodreads "Want to read" list aren't in our library's catalogue. Some are so unavailable, I can't even request that the library purchase them! :O

Flail

Pathetic minor flail...

My dental gum-graft surgery was back before Thanksgiving, on November 19. That was 7 weeks ago!

Today, I am FINALLY able to eat baby carrots again. *Cronch-cronch-cronch-cronch-cronch*

How I have missed you, little orange nuggets of noise!

Now, if I could just get to the point where I'm sure it's okay to eat popcorn again...

Venus

Argh, back at work...

The winter break is always too short, and it was less satisfying than usual with our daughter not coming home this year. I wound up going to bed even later than usual each night, and then bemoaning the sun going down so early each day. So much for my plan to reset my internal clock over those two weeks off. :O

Got a few of my home cleanup/maintenance projects done, but not all of them. In true "me" style, a half-completed one is still blocking part of the living room floor right now. I was close to finishing it, but I had to change gears and focus on my Idol entry, which wriggled out from under a couple of approaches and finally settled into something workable that I could only bring forth at the speed of "slog." I think the final product is good, though. It's here, with a link to the poll at the bottom where you can read and vote for your favorite entries. \o/

This conversation happened at our house last week, at least from my perspective:

HalfshellHusband: The prodigal son returns in January.
Me: Is this some kind of political reference? Are you talking about Biden's inauguration?
HSH: No, the TV show.
Me: What?
HSH: You know... It's um... 'Whacky Daddy'!
Me: OH! Ohhhhh...

The actual name of that TV show, "Prodigal Son" never sticks with me. We always refer to it as "Whacky Daddy," for the serial-killer father played by Michael Sheen. I mean, that's also our favorite part of the show. :O

Speaking of Sheen, we also started watching Good Omens a few days ago, in which he goes to the opposite extreme and plays an angel. Oh, that show is fun. And you have to love Crowley (played by David Tennant as some sort of aging, semi-loopy 60s rock star). Crowley is wonderfully dry as a not-especially-evil demon, and he so much less competent at everything than he seems to think. :D

So, is the New Year treating you well so far? I think it's too early to tell around here...

Venus

LJ Idol Survivor: "Incomparable Harvest"

Incomparable Harvest
idol survivor | individual challenge 2 | 1700 words
Dig It

x-x-x-x-x

Willard Canticle was the last of the great dream-farmers, a spare, silvery sort of man with round-rimmed spectacles and faded blue button-down shirts. He favored rosewood pipes and calico cats, and he lived way out in the Northern part of the country at the very end of Pickleberry Road.

Willard had learned the art of farming dreams from his mother's father's mother-father. It was a complicated lineage, to be sure. All of the delicate details of feeding, coaxing, pruning, and harvesting had been taught to him from an early age. By the time he was seven, Willard could spot embryonic Jungian archetypes and ground-breaking inventions with the best of them, but he was duty-bound to let them ripen on their own like even the most ordinary dreams before he could free them to find their destinations.

He still gave the best dreams a little extra care and love, certain he was the first dream-farmer to do that and entirely wrong in thinking so.

Dreams were a year-round crop, in constant growth and fruition no matter the season. Willard would dig rows of little four-inch-deep holes in the dirt, and then drop a hope-seed and a star-secret into each one before covering it over and patting the earth down. Then he would wait to see what grew.

He fed the seeds a variety of fine and nutritious foods, for it was impossible to be certain what sort of dream a seed might want to be. He sprinkled the earth with fish scales and flower petals, and mulched in star moss and powdered narwhal horns and forgotten puzzle-pieces from rainy Sunday afternoons. He supplemented the soil with frog chants and foolish decisions, and brushed the emerging dream-buds with moth-wing dust and midnight yearnings and summer reveries.

He watered his crops with stray song-fragments and moonbeams, with wind whispers and backwoods folktales and the laughter of children.

Willard had acres and acres of land, and nearly all of it was covered in dreamlets in various stages of development. Willard would walk through the property each day, planting hope seeds, feeding his crops, and checking on their progress. He harvested the dreams that were ready, and culled any that had morphed into nightmares (when he dared, for nightmares were unpredictable and snappish).

Most of his crops needed only modest attention, but Willard was too fascinated by the process to let any of his plantings languish for long.

Some of the dreams were so shy that he had to creep up on them at night to try to glimpse their most recent configurations. Those were often his favorites. Others transformed almost hourly, and even after decades or centuries of tending dreams and raising them up from the ground, the entire process was as mysterious as ever.

While Willard provided opportunity and nourishment, he had no ability to influence what the dreamlets grew into. Each was unique, and they were often strange and wonderful, shifting and changing as they matured and offering little certainty as to what they might become. A dream might arise from the soil with the patterned scales of an armadillo, and yet be a bilge-pump by nightfall. A promising-looking little rosebud might evolve into a nightmare of teeth and feathers despite all of Willard's encouragement, and a box of warts might stretch and grow in an ever-changing series of sizes and shapes until it became a complex mindscape on the order of Arthurian legend.

At the moment, Willard had his eye on a purple pinwheel, and on something that looked like a balloon calliope.

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If you enjoyed this story, you can vote for it along with many other fine entries here.