Sunday, May 26, 2013

Consolidating

I've consolidated my various blogs:

http://steampunkgothique.blogspot.com

Saturday, January 26, 2013

My Grandfather


I got Burma, Her Story published the other day. The short story, at least. My next project is to turn it into a screenplay.

This is a story that I grew up hearing. I can’t remember a time of my life where I didn’t know bits and pieces of the life of this dog. I was happy to find third person contemporary sources to verify this amazing journey.

My grandfather was a pilot. When he was a child, he told the story of looking up to the sky on his Kansas farm and seeing a plane fly overhead and deciding to be a pilot. Mind you, this was in the 1920s. When he was old enough to join the Air Corps (predecessor to the USAF), he was first rejected because he was a several pounds underweight. So, he went home and ate and ate bananas for two weeks. Then he went back to the recruitment center and refused to go relieve himself until after he had been accepted into the military. Apparently, he was very grumpy that day.

He was already in the military, training in Arizona, when Pearl Harbor happened. He also listed many of his other military experiences in this treasure trove of declassified journals that we found after he had passed. He was also in the top 14 finalists to be among the first astronauts ever.

He was always a pilot, until an ultralight crash when he was 86 years old. The power cut out just after takeoff and he had to glide to an emergency landing in a field near Pittsburg (I think on the Missouri side). However, one of the wheels caught in a power line and cartwheeled him into the ground. I saw the pieces and scraps of the wreckage and couldn’t believe that anyone could survive that.

He lived until he was 92. His wits and eyesight never failed.

When I was younger, he would fly up to town to pick me up and fly me back down to the farm. He didn’t believe in this newfangled GPS. He gave me a map and told me to keep an eye on the highway and the rivers. Also, I learned that “taking the wheel” in a plane is a whole different ballgame then in a car.

By publishing this story, I want to share with the world what kind of man my grandfather was.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Pyromaniac Kittens

Because the kittens tried to burn their owners' house down, they were adopted out to my ex-boyfriend's mother on account of my Facebook post.

My friends had taken in some week-old strays who were super sick from the abandoned lot next to their house. Winter was coming anyway and they needed help. Fast forward several months and they were out of town, and I was stopping by the house every day to put out food, water and clean out the trays.

Now my friends are renting an old house and it's far from in good shape. It's so old that it has one of the built-in floor furnaces. But no one was worried because it didn't work.

Well, until it suddenly decided to. I arrived at the house one afternoon to a very ugly smell. Burning plastic. The kittens had knocked a plastic tupperware-style container on it and it was melting through the grate and dripping molten plastic onto the furnace itself.

Step 1: pry off the plastic that I could.

Step 2: locate the thermostat and shut off the heat. First, those floor furnaces aren't connected to the thermostat (at least in this case). Secondly, there was no off switch. They have the exact same thermostat as I do, so I know damn well where the off switch is and it was not there. I popped off the lid and adjusted the mercury switch, but that really didn't do anything because it wasn't wired into the floor furnace anyway.

Step 3: call friends. Leave message. Call again. Smoke is still rising.

Step 3.5: get on Facebook on my phone and find friends that way and tell them turn on their phone. Finally get on friends and the smoke alarm goes off.

Step 4: climb up on couch to reach smoke detector. Pop it open to find that it doesn't have any guts. Find second alarm located on really messy dresser buried under a stack of books and other paraphernalia  Throw alarm outside so that it will shut the hell up.

Step 5: learn that furnace has no off switch. Apparently, one has to crawl down into the spider kingdom, I mean, the crawl space and blow out the pilot light. I didn't even know it had been lit.

Step 6: locate a pair of pliers and rip away the rest of the semi-molten plastic still on the grate and dripping.

Step 7: scold Mr. Fluff for trying to chew on the hot plastic pieces.

Step 8&9: repeat steps 6-7 several times.

Step 10: hang out to make sure the plastic has burned off and won't catch anything on fire.

Step 11: call other friend and leave a message saying that you can't make it tonight because you're babysitting pyromaniac kittens (and then not explain what that meant for 2 days).

Step 12: have spouse stop by the house the following morning (while I'm at work) to make sure it's still standing. Receive text stating, "Help! I'm being attacked by kittens."

Step 13: post semi-amusing text to Facebook and wait for my ex-boyfriend's sister (who still is a friend) to ask if they're up for adoption because her mother was looking for a kitten.

I think my friends for whom I was babysitting were more than ready to agree.

Also, the lightbulb in the room with the litterbox burnt out and I couldn't find any spares on hand, so I ended up cleaning it out with help from the flashlight on my phone, but the kittens thought that this was the best toy ever. At least my phone hasn't caught fire yet.