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The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
05 January 2022 @ 10:49 am
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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


 
 
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
19 April 2019 @ 11:26 am
It's the last day to vote for this week's LJ Idol round. We're down to 5 people, and will be losing one tonight. Please read through the entries and vote for your favorites here!

Thank you for your help and your support!

I may have mentioned we've been catching up on this season's Blacklist. We got behind for a bit while we mustered the wherewithall to cope with the darkness of the storylines. So, we finally watched "The Osterman Umbrella Company" last night, and... ugh. /o\

I'm VERY unhappy with how that turned out, and where the next episode is heading. It's hurting my favorite character, who is driven entirely by the pureness of his heart, and that hurts me. :( :(

Meanwhile, on the home front... we've been trying out another foster kitty from the same home as the two previous ones. But despite being touted as mellow and outgoing, he also eventually managed to get behind the washing machine, and has been there a couple of days now. *sigh*

He may come out tomorrow when we do laundry, and if so I can block the TOP off with cardboard. We blocked access from the sides, but once a cat is back there, that's no good. They have to be able to get out. Up until now, we only ever had this problem with hamsters and the bunny, and it was easy to keep them out of there. But cats have such agility and such a powerful leap that we need more extreme prevention.

And this cat needs to be able to interact with us enough to realize he's safe and will be loved. Hiding is not interacting.

Trying to adopt a fostered cat has not worked out well. We thought the issue was the extreme shyness of the first two cats, but the reality is, that foster home is Cat Heaven. There are some 20 cats there with a human who adores them and goes to great lengths for them. She roasts whole chickens for them to eat, and all the cats that want to are allowed to sleep on her bed at night. They're all deeply bonded to her, and all their friends are there.

By comparison, any other potential home is Kitty Hell. So once again, our current 'victim' is sad and scared and hiding. You'd think we ate kitties here, or put tape on their ears or something. /o\

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The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
18 April 2019 @ 10:42 am
I've finally recovered from the major deadline stress that started off this week.

I got my Idol story finished and posted on Tuesday. It's here, with a link to the poll and all 5 (only 5!) entries at the bottom. Please read and vote for your favorites!

Monday was the last slog through Tax Hell. I wound up buying TurboTax (after already paying for H & R Block's tax software), which made things a little easier. But from the other "Devil you know" perspective, at least I understood the convolutions of the previous tax code. This year, it was, "What the hell happened to Schedule A?" And "How did this Residentical Energy Credit wind up being zero?" and so on. I did a LOT of Googling on Monday, finding answers to those and various other questions about California tax code. Most of this was to make sure TurboTax wasn't doing something wrong, or that I hadn't misunderstood the nuances of some classification of income/deductions. /o\

I e-filed the federal return around 5:30 pm, and put the Cal return in the box at the post office at 9:30 pm. Latest return ever! \o?

Fortunately, I made it through without having to take up jake67 on her really sweet offer to help, but I felt better knowing her support was there if I needed it. Thank you! ♥

In biking news, I mostly alternated days of outside biking with garage-biking, thanks to the wind and Monday's rain. I'm closing in on the end of Burn Notice Season 3, in which Chris Vance is both dangerous and delightful.

The weather forecast is clear for dayyyyyyyys now, though it's also getting warmer. Has all the late rain wiped out our planting window for Spring? Mostly REplanting, TBH, for all the things that either died from last summer's heat or this winter's cold or the excess sogginess of the rain itself... We may have a few viable weeks left, though those random Spring windstorms can dry out new plants and kill them. Really, sometimes it's amazing that ANY kind of landscaping ever gets off the ground here. :(

We watched most of Thor: The Dark World last weekend. Most, because I was channel-surfing one day and saw it listed, so I started the recording late. Fun overall, though we never saw the first one, so parts were a little confusing. I didn't spot Zachary Levi in it, though I did notice Adewale Akkinuoye-Agbaje. Kat Denning's character was oddly annoying. Mainly, we waited for Tom Hiddleston to show up. Having seen Ragnarok and now this movie, I totally understand why Thor/Loki slash is a thing. :O

So what are YOUR weekend plans? I keep forgetting Easter is coming. I bought the candy and did Easter baskets weeks ago when the kids were here. So inside my brain, Easter has already happened...

 
 
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
16 April 2019 @ 01:46 pm
Homecoming
idol prize fight | week 20 | 1800 words
Nostos (a Greek literary theme in which an epic hero finally returns home after a long journey)

x-x-x-x-x

The Greyhound bus slowly approached the downtown depot that that was the last stop on Darryl Adams' long, tiring journey home. Darryl was sick of the whole thing—weird passengers, weird drivers, broken seats, broken air-conditioning, and the smell… God, that smell. Maybe he should have considered hitchhiking part of the way after all?

The trip sure hadn't been like that Simon & Garfunkel song he'd loved so much as a kid. More hellhound than greyhound, definitely. He'd seen casino buses at a couple of stops that had practically been gold-plated compared to what he'd been riding in. Casino buses! What was that all about?

If only he hadn't spent almost everything he had on plane tickets to get back into the country. Buses were all he could afford after that.

Darryl's parents wouldn't even be there to pick him up at the bus station. He'd been calling for weeks, but he hadn't been able to get a hold of them. They didn't believe in cell phones, and their answering machine didn't seem to be working. Typical.

There was probably a dead car sitting in their driveway right now…

He had expected more enthusiasm for his return, after being gone for six years. But it was possible they didn't even know he was coming.

When the bus stopped, Darryl grabbed his duffel bag and backpack, and hurried off toward the bathroom.

Ugh. It was better than the bus, but still disgusting. When he was finished, he washed his hands and face. Then he stripped off his shirt and stuffed it in the trash. He pulled a clean T-shirt out of his duffel bag, and put it on. Then he started walking.

The Diggity Dog Diner was two blocks from the bus station. Darryl had been dreaming about their Bacon Bonanza Burger for days, ever since his plane had landed at JFK.

A wino lurched out of a doorway as he left the bus station. "Spare some—"

"Joey?" Darryl said.

"Uh, yeah." The wino squinted at him. "Do I know ya?"

"Only since eighth grade! It's Darryl."

"Oh, yeah, Darryl. Huh." Joey scratched the back of his neck. "What're you doin' down here?"

"I came in on the bus. I just got back," Darryl said.

"Whoa. Were ya like, in jail or somethin'?"

Did he look that bad? "No," Darryl said. "I was volunteering overseas. In Colombia."

"Huh." Joey thought about that for a minute. "Why?"

Darryl blinked. "To see the world. Help make a difference. You know."

"Uh huh. So, ya got any—"

"Sure, sure." Darryl fished in his pocket and found some coins.

"Thanks, man." Joey shuffled off down the street.

Well, that was depressing…

Darryl walked over to the Diggity Dog, which looked a little more run-down than he remembered. He went inside and sat at a table next to the window.

A gum-chewing waitress came over and took out her order pad. "What do you want?" she asked.

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

 
 
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
12 April 2019 @ 04:26 pm
Can you STOP?

WTF is wrong with you? After all this rain, we finally have a stretch of sunny days. So you have to start throwing one of your tantrums? :(

Argh. I DID go biking yesterday, but it was after the workday, when the winds had settled down a little.

It's about that time today, and they're still shown as being 20 mph at multiple locations near my house. Why? WHYYYYY? /o\

 
 
 
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
11 April 2019 @ 10:55 am
It's the last day to vote in this week's LJ Idol poll! The numbers are really close, and it looks like we clearly need more readers to decide the outcome rather than friends/family from Facebook and the like. The poll is here. Please read and vote for your favorites!

So, there was the windy bike ride on Tuesday, then a rest-day yesterday (while the bike was in the shop). Our forecast is also listing winds with gusts up to 24 mph today, though only (!) 17 mph tomorrow. Augh! We're transitioning into Spring late here, after all those recurring rainstorms, but these windy days are typical. What a pain-- they typically continue randomly through the end of May, about when the heat starts spiking up. Really, the best riding season here is Fall. :(

Still planning to go out today, though. :O

In Spring blooming news, it looks like both of the houses on my morning commute got rid of their wisteria, which is too bad. There's still a big patch of it coming over a retaining wall along the freeway, and more at another house I only see on the way home. Western Redbud is everywhere, including along the parkway (and it's purple, despite the name). Smelled and saw some municipal Scotch Broom on Tuesday's ride, which reminds me that I'm SO glad I don't have allergies. I have chronic rhinusitis, which has a similar effect on my nose (year-round, to boot!), but no allergies. My mother is desperately allergic to Scotch Broom...

I'm starting to seriously worry about getting our taxes done. I filed several amended returns last year (fixes for TurboTax's bugs regarding Coverdell Education savings accounts). We owed more federal tax for those prior years, but got additional state refunds. Now I'm having to work through Publication 525 worksheets for 3 fiscal years, and attempting to figure out what "recoveries and reimbursements from Schedule A" means. ALL of Schedule A? The state/property/personal tax part of Schedule A? The H&R Block tax software is showing some huge amount of state tax refunds I owe money on now, and the numbers aren't right, so I'm clearly doing something wrong. But their software doesn't help me with that. And there seem to be new questions about life- and disability-insurance benefits, where you can purchase more as part of an employee group plan. Now you're supposed to pro-rate those additional benefits as 'income'? I guess? Thanks, Trump! :(

I suspect TurboTax would have sucked in my info from prior returns to compute those Publication 525 worksheets, or at least talked me through it. Gah. I may wind up buying it anyway, and starting over. :(

It's the last weekend to sort this stuff out... Even if I file for an extension, I would have to do a state tax return, which depends on the federal returns, so that's no good. :O

 
 
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
10 April 2019 @ 10:09 am
Windy bike ride yesterday. :O

Normally, I would probably have stuck to riding in the garage, but the bike had to go in for a tune-up today, and I wasn't able to ride on Monday. Too busy getting my LJ Idol story finished and posted by the 4 pm deadline! Any faint hopes of biking after that vanished with the "Rain starting in 77 minutes" Accuweather note for my neighborhood, which was still some 45 minutes plus prep-time away. :(

Yesterday's wind forecast was bad, but not immediate. It was supposed to increase over the course of the day. I went out to check around 12:30 to see if it seemed workable, and decided to chance it. Of course, between sun-blocking, changing, and more work, I didn't get out for another hour, but still... It wasn't so much the 13-17mph winds, which are daunting enough, but not a deal-breaker. It's the "gusts up to 22 mph" part. When those come from the side, bad things can happen—especially if you're riding out on the road, which is the only option near my office.

My usual route almost always winds up with crosswinds (and gusts) during the out-and-back part where I get a lot of mileage, so I'd planned to work around that. But not before after giving it a little try. ;) This is a game I play with myself, where I imagine it might not be that bad (since that direction has buildings/trees as a windbreak up until that point). [Spoiler alert: it is almost always that bad.] I got maybe a third of a mile before deciding the gusts were too much, and turned around. Still less bad than the epic time I was afraid to slow down with those gusts, lest I get smacked over by one of them. :O

Instead, I went out a road I haven't been on for over a year. Lots of new construction there, which is the story of this region. It's in a county that has no inhibitions about sprawl, so all the farmland is gradually being developed over time. The strawberry farm along there is gone now. Those disappearing rural areas are where I ride to avoid stoplights and stop signs, of course. :(

When I came back on that road, it was the first stint of riding into the headwind. Good grief—my heart! My lungs! Wow. There was 1.5 miles of that, mostly moderately uphill. Then a loop, and then snaking my way back to the office in increments of a few miles of headwind broken up by sideways trips East to spread out the effort.

THAT was a workout. Hours later, I was still feeling it. :O

Today's weather is similar, so I hope it's over by tomorrow, when I'll have my bike back again...

 
 
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
08 April 2019 @ 10:03 pm
I meant to post some news about this over the weekend, but was too busy trying to get my Idol entry written. Which is now here, with a link to the poll and other entries at the bottom!

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So, kitties... we did not remotely anticipate what happened there.

The person fostering them brought them to our house last week, and introduced them. Two sisters, a little over a year old, both sweet, beautiful and super-soft. She brought them out of their carriers, since they showed no signs of leaving on their own. Then they both made a beeline for the laundry room, and got behind the washer.

We moved the washer and pulled them back out, and then the woman held each of them and petted them, and gave them to us one at a time. The cats were clearly scared, but not aggressive. We talked, stroked the cats, and let them wander (right back into their carriers, as it turned out). Then the woman left. All of this took more than an hour.

I showed the cats their litter box and food and water, and gave them gentle, reassuring pets. Then we left them alone in the kitchen for a bit. After a while, I heard the sounds of one of the cat toys moving, and when I went into the kitchen about ten minutes later, they had disappeared.

We'd blocked off any access to behind the washer and dryer, and could see they weren't back there. After much, much searching, we found them in the narrow space between the fridge and the wall, where one of the cats was using her sister as a pillow.

They stayed there the rest of the day, until the kitchen was dark and empty, and I heard them break something around 10:30pm. I relocated them to the laundry room, which made them both nervous.

The next morning, they were hiding next to the fridge again. We couldn't coax them out with treats or toys or pets. They moved again around late evening, so I blocked off access to that space. But the next day, the shyer cat was behind the dryer again. She stayed there almost the entire weekend, only coming out when the dryer was actually on or when no one else was around.

The other cat got to the point where she would come out to see me, and spent time cuddling and playing when HalfshellHusband wasn't around (he's heavy-footed, and talks louder than I do, which both cats found scary). That kitty was kind of a tiny terror-- really energetic and full of mischief, but really, really cute. But still kind of skittish.

Her sister never got over being petrified. :(

If it had just had the one cat, we would have given it at least another week to see if she could get over being afraid of HSH. But her sister was a lost cause. After five days, she was still doing everything she could to avoid us.

This is what we didn't expect, and what the foster owner wouldn't have guessed. Both cats had bonded with her, and were sweet but clearly shy. But they'd never been in a situation before where she would have been able to tell that they were pathologically shy. This was a first for me, too. Cats like me, and even the shy ones warm up to me. But one of them was clearly unadoptable, and we couldn't keep one without the other. If the friendlier cat had come on her own, yes. But we couldn't have the foster owner come back and take only one of them home. That would've been too awful for both cats. So, we had to give both kitties back. :(

There may also be a lesson in here (that we've encountered before) about not adopting siblings, because they bond with each other and not with you. But having never adopted from a foster home before, we now wonder if that might also be a mistake. A cat you bring home from the pound (or a tree near your office) is desperate to find a loving family. They know they're being rescued. But a cat that is already in a loving home is more likely to feel traumatized or sad about being re-homed, rather than grateful.

So, no kitties after all, not just yet. But we'll keep looking, and hoping that someway we'll find the right match for us.

 
 
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
08 April 2019 @ 03:43 pm
Inner Truth
idol prize fight | week 19 | 1170 words
Rancor

x-x-x-x-x

No one really understood the wolf. We wouldn't have blamed him for not coming to the meetings, but he did, every week. He was the only wolf there.

He was the only one who ever tried.

Me, I was just a frog. I had problems too, of course. All those princesses who balked at the thought of a simple kiss? I wasn't some toad who spent his days in the dirt, I was a clean, shiny frog. I had standards! What was so hard about a kiss? If I had to repeat the same stupid storyline over and over again, was it too much to expect a little cooperation? Instead, I'd been slapped with a sexual harassment suit. Now I was stuck in Anger Management therapy to work on my "issues" with women.

Hey, at least I never ate anybody.

Though if I had, would anger management really be the solution? I mean, if eating people was in your nature, well… that was disgusting, definitely, and no one liked to talk about it. But was that an anger problem, or just a fact of life?

It was tough on predators, for sure. Like that song—People who eat people are the loneliest people in the world, or something like that. Maybe the song was true?

But wolves were not people.

The real problem there involved witches, though only a few of them ever ate children. They were always the ones who refused to be reformed, of course. They were old-school witches, they didn't care what anyone else wanted. The witches who actually came to the sessions were there to work on their resentment of other people and their apparent need to curse the entire world.

Well, some of them, anyway. A lot of them were just everyday spell-casting hags, who were usually pretty nice. They only came to the meetings because their friends did, and because they liked the donuts.

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

 
 
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors
02 April 2019 @ 10:39 am
It's the last day to vote for Idol this week! We're down to the Top 8, and the voting is extremely close. My entry is here, with a link to the poll and all other stories at the bottom. They're quick reads! Please check them out and vote. :D

We finally got ahold of a live person to talk to about a cat we're interested in adopting. Petfinder has an online inquiry form and direct email contacts for the various rescue organizations, but the people at those organizations seem oddly reluctant to actually answer either of them.

We both send emails a week ago about the same cat... *silence* I submitted the inquiry form last Friday... *silence* Then HalfshellHusband called the phone number on the rescue org's webpage, where a person finally responded.

The gray cat we're interested in has a shy sister who is very attached to her, and we were wondering if the org was really hoping they'd be adopted together. We could actually do that, barring either cat taking a psychotic dislike to us, which seems unlikely. So, they should be coming to the house tomorrow morning to meet us. *hopes* \o/

In other news, we're slowly getting caught up on The Blacklist. It has taken a very dark, unhappy arc this season, so we've had to gird ourselves for each installment over the past month or so. Just finished Bastien Moreau, Pt. 2, which resolved a lot of agony but also introduced some new elements of Noooo!! That was one of our 'escapist' shows for the longest time, but starting around Season 4... not so much. We still really like it, but I think our 'happyish' shows are down to The Rookie and our current Dexter re-watch, which is really saying something. And I know where Dexter's headed, so that won't last either.

The Indian Detective was kind of fun, but it was only four episodes! So, not a long-term solution. ;)

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