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Writer's Block: Looking Back

Apr. 19th, 2009 | 09:34 pm
human condition: blahblah
listening to: No music, just an ep of L&O:CI in the background

Apparently my first post was heat-related. You must be so hot, little friend.
For those not interested in clicking that link, I've quoted the post below:

[echo] (</a></b></a>echoic) wrote,
@ 2001-07-26 04:50:00
It is 4:50 AM and 81 degrees in this room - despite the fact that I have several fans going. It's too bad my Patton (Vornado-style) is in another room. It is currently being utilized by the alien-joseph as a sleeping aid.

My foot hurts, how about you?"

The "little friend" I refer to is one of my guinea pigs. The Internet Archive tells me it's Fred I'm referring to... I feel sad that I had to look it up to be sure I wasn't talking about Franco.

Looking back evokes so many different emotions.
LiveJournal is turning 10 and we're feeling nostalgic. What was your first LJ post about?

grabbing hands | to put it in words, to write it down {4} |

53 Weeks Later...

Dec. 3rd, 2008 | 05:35 pm
location: The Crazy Diamond Mine

'Tis been 53 weeks since my last LJ update. Having said that, this won't be much of an update.

I'm going to install Dee's vs.tweet, but not here. That's going to run over on echoverse.lj.com.

You can find sporadic updates over at the main page of echoverse.org. Further options on locating me shall be forthcoming.

Hey, does anyone else think it's time I updated my photo? Well, I don't care if you do, I'm going to do it at some point. The one currently being shown is from 2005!

grabbing hands | to put it in words, to write it down {1} |

The Radiator, The Cellar, and that damned furnace!

Nov. 24th, 2007 | 06:06 am
location: Kitchen!
human condition: scaredscared
listening to: Scary radiator noises

"I'm afraid of what's in the cellar."
Look here, fruitcake. Or go to the shoddy "main" page.

grabbing hands | to put it in words, to write it down |

E-Z PASS NO CASH: The E-Z PASS Anniversary!

Jun. 30th, 2007 | 12:32 pm
location: The Crazy Diamond Mine
human condition: sillysilly

It has now been (a little more than) five years since E-Z PASS first captured the hearts of me and hallways.

To celebrate the 5 year anniversary of our first E-Z PASS violations, I shall re-post Jennzah's original LJ entry documenting the experience.

27th-Jun-2002 08:23 am
first off. anyone who lives on the east coast, do YOU, your FAMILY, or anyone you KNOW have the E-Z Pass for the Jersey Turnpike or wherever? this pisses me and echo off severely. we hate the E-Z Pass (though it makes us laugh PROFUSELY, we have not stopped laughing about it for hours).

we went to NYC today. first off. we did not know that you needed and E-Z Pass. we do not have an E-Z Pass. so here we are all ready to go into the Lincoln Tunnel. we accidentally went into the E-Z Pass lane. i was videotaping and Echo was driving and all of a sudden these two burly cops come up and say "HEY! turn off the camera" and tell me i cant tape in the tunnel. (severe fines, as in TEN GRAND!) then Echo has six dollars out tryin to give it to the cops because she is unaware she was in the E-Z Pass lane.

this is where our E-Z Pass troubles started for the day.

apparently it was an E-Z Pass NO CASH lane.

he informed us that Echo would be sent a bill in the mail and sent us on our merry way.

so we stayed in the city untill 11:30 p.m

we left the city.

this is when the REAL trouble with the E-Z Pass fuckers started. WHAT THE FUCK IS WITH THESE E-Z PASS NO CASH LANES? we must have gone through like seven of them. Echo is going to get hunted down and thrown in the slammer. all because she does not have an E-Z Pass! and because those fuckers on the Jersey Turnpike fired all the money collecters so they are ALL E-Z Pass NO CASH lanes! so we had to skip through them.

now mind you, we kinda screwed up going out of the city and were half way to Atlantic City by the time we figured out that we'd fucked up. so we had to turn around and go back towards NYC. BUT THAT WAS E-Z Pass's fault! we had to go through TWO of those fucking E-Z PASS NO CASH lanes! GRRR. they got our license plate. and possibly even photos of us.

but we got their photo too. and video tape.

The only place they did not have an E-Z Pass NO CASH lane was by the Delaware Water Gap going into Pennsylvania.

so. i ask. WHAT THE FUCK IS WITH THIS E-Z Pass thing? FUCK YOU, E-Z Pass! me and echo are going to infiltrate and take it down, we swear.

even though it's so funny we nearly die. LOL.

and that was our day in new york.

pictures to come.


grabbing hands | to put it in words, to write it down {1} |

A funny walk down memory lane, circa 03/12/03 12:07 PM -0500

Jun. 5th, 2007 | 05:21 pm
location: The Crazy Diamond Mine
human condition: amusedamused

Mephistopheles of Morning Television
by Good Time Charlie

Well, I have something I must report to you.

This evening, as most respectable little boys and girls lay snooze, my
domestic partner and I happened to catch eye of a most disturbing sight
indeed. There, on our late night telly, an obviously intoxicated Al
Roker, clad in a three button white suit and aquamarine shirt a' la Miami
Vice danced the Batusi in perhaps the lewdest and most vulgar fashion
either of us had ever witness. Legs twisting, arms flailing, and his
thick pelvis gyrating as if to maintain the movements of a hoola hoop, The
weather man in question strutted about like a possessed rabid rooster in
The coup de gras, however, came when the overzealous fat man snatched the
drink away from a horrified Conan O'Brian so that he could take a gaping
mouthful of the liquid inside only to spray it all over the unfortunate
television host like an elephant might spray his companion on a hot day.
The stunned Irishman could do little more than sit motionless behind his
desk in apparent awe of the shenanigans taking place before him.

I hate Al Roker. I think that he is one of the most useless and annoying
characters found on television today. And what exactly is his job anyway?
He is certainly no reporter. I think one would have a difficult time
calling him a meteorologist based on the fact that he gives only the the
most vague and general of weather reports. He announces the birthdays of
a few hundred-plus year old relics and holds the microphone for a few
"lucky" lookers on out in Rockefeller Center and that's about it.

Yet, I have digressed from the original reason for this report. (I'm
quite stoned, so you'll have to forgive me and my oh, so verbose writing.)

Al Roker, despite his atrocious participation on early morning television,
should not be to blame. After all, he is only following the insipid
formula of his predecessor- his Caucasian counterpart- the ebullient
buffoon known as Willard Scott !!!

He is the real one to hate. His ridiculous laugh, his unnatural love of
the aged, his equally useless weather reporting. He is an evil that
should go the way of the Dodo!

Your sister, however, has never heard of him in her life. I'm shocked by
this. I mean, like him or not, I have always considered Willard Scott to
be one of those ubiquitous, low grade television harlequins that every
American recognizes.

I hate his stupid mug. Always up in the camera like he's going to come
through the screen and attempt to give me a slobbery kiss.

Back wicked demon!! I rebuke thee!!!

Anyway, we just wanted to know if you had ever heard of him.
Awefully long email just to ask a simple question, eh?

I am attaching a photograph of the offender that I'm sure you'll laugh at
as much as we did.

Love Always,
-Max Ex Mick


Re: Mephistopheles of Morning Television
by echo

Number 1: Do I have your permission to reprint this e-mail on the Internet?
Number 2: Jennifer is insane. She knows who Willard Scott is. Her memory
has to be jogged in some way unkown to me, for at the moment, I, too am
stoned. Therefore the run-on sentence thing is getting out of hand.
(This is why I write things over and over. Jenn thinks it's funny that I
proofread my e-mails and often go through drafts, etc. I AM A WRITER.
WELL, I DO THAT. Just as I can be verbose. Something you & I have in

Let's get back to Willard Scott. I know he started it, but can you be
more specific about what it is that triggers such emotion in you? When
Hammond's brain finally clicks and she recognizes who we're talking about,
I'm sure she'll have a very passionate stance on this matter.

Damn if I'm proofreading this. No retyping, blah blah blah. My left arm
still hurts from a certain incident that is just not worth going into.
What I'm trying to type here is,

I'll message you later,
Love ya more than my luggage,
Kara Lynn

the sky turns green
where i end and you begin

Tags: , , ,

grabbing hands | to put it in words, to write it down {1} |

On Vox: QotD: The Main Cast

Apr. 24th, 2007 | 10:37 am

View echo’s Blog

Who are the most frequently mentioned people on your Vox blog? Submitted by Amirul B Ruslan.

» Read more on Vox

grabbing hands | to put it in words, to write it down |

How appropriate.

Mar. 15th, 2007 | 10:49 am
human condition: tiredtired
listening to: a song repeating in my head

echo is emotionally distant.
I bet no one's surprised that you never post your current mood. In fact, I bet most of your friends are so sick of you locking them out of your life that they hate you behind your back. Shame.
wanna know your lj's moodring color? enter your user name and hit the button. (discussion thread)

grabbing hands | to put it in words, to write it down {1} |

Merlin induces hysteria.

Mar. 6th, 2007 | 01:56 am

Last night, something terrifying happened to Merlin. His legs started giving out, causing him to fall several times.
Boy, did he have us all upset (that includes Merlin himself).
The first incident happened when I let him in from outside. As my mother and I watched in horror, he fell on his side and started kicking his legs hysterically to try to get back up. I can't really describe what it looked like. When he was able to right himself, he was scared - totally freaked out.
Seeing that happen, along with his reaction, made everyone panic, which in turn made him even more nervous.

Mom immediately thought it was an epileptic fit. I knew it was not. My beloved Boko, our late canine family member, had epilepsy. So I know an epileptic fit when I see one. This certainly was not - Merlin was quite aware of what was going on, his eyes weren't glazed, and the "fit" lasted much less than a minute. I can understand Mom wanting to label it as something familiar...
If it wasn't epilepsy, what the hell was wrong with his legs?
He seemed to be asking us the same question.
Arthritis? Did he get hurt outside? Are we going to have to get a dog wheelchair? Because I totally would. If he ever needs one of those, he's getting it.
He was clearly uncomfortable. He wouldn't lay down, stand or sit still for long. He kept moving around to test his legs. This caused more falls.

On the advice of a veterinarian (not his), we gave him some baby aspirin. (Boko had arthritis as well, and we used to give him aspirin.)
He started to feel better. He was also getting tired, and that kept him from moving around so much.

We took him to his vet today. She got a good look at how he was walking and acting (taking into account the adrenaline rush he gets when he goes there), took his temperature and discovered he has a fever.
She thinks it's a virus, and that it's making his body ache. There's also a chance that he slipped outside - it's been pretty icy.
He is now on two prescriptions; she's holding off on doing blood work and other tests to see if he responds to the medication.
Already he seems to be feeling a bit better. Best of all, he isn't falling all over the place.
We're to call the doctor tomorrow and the next day to keep her apprised of the situation.

It's working so far, but we can tell he doesn't feel well. My poor baby :(

I was kind of bracing myself for the worst. I cannot express in words how relieved I am. He's sick, but it's something treatable, something non-fatal. Phew.

I'm telling you right now:

grabbing hands | to put it in words, to write it down {1} |

Tick, tick, tick, tick.... Call 911!

Feb. 11th, 2007 | 07:30 pm
human condition: relievedrelieved

I'm having a horrible day, physically speaking. I phoned my mother, who was downstairs, from my bedroom. I was trying to relax in bed, but I had to ring Mom to give her a list of items I need from the store.

During our conversation, she yelled, "HEY!" followed by the unmistakable noise of Merlin moving the kitchen table about.
"The dog's moving the table. I know why he's doing it."
She went on to explain that one of the burners on our gas stove was continuously ticking. Normally they make that clicking noise when the pilot light is going to ignite the flames. I don't know about you, but that sounds to me like gas was be steadily distributed into the air.
Mom was so blase about the whole thing. Obviously none of this concerned her in the slightest.

I got off the phone with her, called Jennifer to order her downstairs to investigate and possibly alert someone of this potentially explosive situation.

Jenn came running back up to tell me to get fully dressed, we'd probably have to go outside. I went to the top of the steps and immediately smelled something. (Maybe that was all in my head, but I definitely detected an odor that was awfully gas-like in nature.)
After yelling this out, I proceeded quickly to the kitchen to check things out for myself. Mom had gone ahead and lit the offending burner, which I suppose would keep gas from filling up the house.
The dog was acting very nervous.
He knows when something isn't right. He was trying to warn us, for Christ's sake! That's why he was moving the table; it was his way of getting this message across.

Mom, on the other hand, was sitting there as if nothing was wrong. She even blamed Merlin's anxiousness on me, and told me to put him outside - not for safety's sake, but to stop him from pacing, shoving the table, etc.
She also told me something I previously did not know. This has happened to the oven before!

I started opening windows and doors for fresh air. Jenn & I were quite upset, questioning Mom, pointing out why this was such an extreme safety violation.
Interspersed among all of this were my pleas to Jennifer to call someone.
"Call someone! You have to call someone!"
She asked me for the phone number to the fire department. The phone book only has 911 listed for fire-related incidents. Though she didn't want to call 911 for this, it was our only choice.
Mom didn't want anyone to be called, remained nonchalant and kept trying to convince us that things were fine, we're overreacting. I should qualify that: she was indifferent about the stove, but vehemently against any sort of authority making a visit.

Furthermore, she started closing the windows and demanded I shut the front door because "we're not heating the neighbourhood!"

Jenn phoned 911.
Meanwhile, Mom lit a cigarette in the kitchen! She could have blown up the place!

I returned to the front door and held it open. I saw a firetruck approaching...

A cute fireman came into the house to inspect the stove. He was followed by a man in a special uniform and hat. I can only assume he was in charge or perhaps some kind of fire inspector as I was too concerned about the ticking stove to get a good look at his uniform. Or to submit queries unrelated to the matter at hand.

The two men checked everything for us. It turns out there wasn't a gas leak.
They unplugged the oven to make it stop ticking. Special Uniformed Hat Man took a lighter and waved it around different areas of the oven to prove we aren't in danger of an explosion and/or fire.
As he did this, Jenn stepped back. He said, "Gee, you're not very trusting, are you?"
Forgive us, sir, we were raised by a Safety Director. Things going up in flames always seemed imminent, what with all the warnings Dad imparted throughout our lives.

Mom couldn't believe we didn't trust her judgment regarding the burner not being a potentially lethal problem.

While the firefighters were here, they voiced something that Jenn and I know quite well, whether Mom wants to take it to heart or not.
It's better to be safe than sorry.

Damn straight!

grabbing hands | to put it in words, to write it down {2} |

A Peach Card

Jan. 2nd, 2007 | 02:19 pm
human condition: sadsad

This is going to come out wrong due to my current state of mind. I feel apologetic about it because I wish my words would be a fitting tribute of some sort...

Peaches, it's my uncle's name. He's actually my great uncle and we never called him "Uncle Peaches" - just Peaches, everyone called him Peaches.

He was a simple man. He was a great artist. For every special occasion he would create a personal card just for you. The back of it always had the date with his card signature:
A Peach Card

When I was a young girl, I loved Unicorns and Pegasuses. I thought I was the first person to come up with the idea of the two merged into one, a Unisus or a Pegacorn.
Peaches made me a poster with the four animals - a unicorn, a pegasus and because I couldn't decide what to name the mixed breed, a pegacorn and a unisys. What a fond memory I have of him.

Peaches died just after Christmas. The viewing is today.

My favourite memory of him is the time he said this to me, without any prompts and after I hadn't seen him in a while: "I don't care what anybody says about you, I still love you."
He said it because he wanted me to know it, that regardless of all of the bullshit happening in our family, he wasn't against me personally, and wasn't choosing sides. His feelings condensed to one simple sentence that spoke volumes and meant a lot to me. It still does.

He was one of the good ones.

grabbing hands | to put it in words, to write it down {4} |

Tiger's Eye: The Ring

Dec. 15th, 2006 | 05:13 am

[x-posted from elsewhere]

My father always wore two rings; I can't recall ever seeing him ring-less. One was his wedding band, the other a beautiful tiger's eye ring.

When he died, I wanted the tiger's eye ring to be passed to me. I didn't (and still don't) care about any monetary value it might or might not have - to me it is worth so much more than that. It's priceless.
I wanted to keep it, possibly putting it on a chain so I could wear it around my neck. It would be a way of keeping a part of him always near me. Obviously he's always with me in spirit, but the ring is something tangible and so definitely his.

I don't remember exactly how this went down because I was still in shock over losing him. I'm pretty sure I've said this before, but in case I haven't: His death was like a nuclear bomb, almost completely obliterating the events right before and after it from my memory.
So this part of the story is taken more from my sister's than mine.

Apparently I didn't tell anyone I wanted the ring. Why would I? Why the hell would I be thinking of and/or speaking about his possessions at a time like that? The most I can pull from my memory is vague - possibly forming this idea when me, Mom and my aunt (from my mother's side) were in the funeral home making arrangements and we were talking about what he'd wear in the casket. Or maybe it was after the funeral, when the director gave his personal effects back to us and Jennifer was here. I'm not sure. And I guess it doesn't really matter.

At some point I discovered Mom was giving or had already given the ring to Jenn. From the way she tells it, I went ballistic. That sounds right, I'm sure I did.
"You're giving that ring to her?! I can't believe you're giving her that ring!"  Hysterics and words to that effect. You get the gist.
She wanted it for the same reasons as I. The detail that altered her wish from mine: she was returning to L.A. and wanted to have something of Dad's out there with her.

While I understood this, I suspected her of, well, losing things. On the other hand is me, someone who cannot throw anything away, someone who may "lose" stuff in her room, but a precious item misplaced in the blue cell means it can be found again. This ring is irreplaceable. If she lost it, that would be it - gone, daddy, gone. I don't know if I said this aloud. I might have just being carrying on about her getting the ring.

The extreme vocal protests upset my mother. She didn't want this to become an issue between me and Jenn, a problem that we'd continue to fight about. It was also leaning toward being another "jewelry incident", and believe me, we don't want one of those. Yet another vague recollection: me bringing up a previous jewelry incident. (There are a few - very basic - parallels*)

I don't know how the argument ended. Me telling her to take the ring to avoid another incident? If yes, did I use a bitter tone of voice to invoke guilt or just bitterness in general?
Was it the other way around? Her telling me to take the ring? Probably not.
However it happened, she "claimed" the ring and had a much better reason for being the one to keep it.

This is where the fractured memories all come together in a way that don't complete the picture in a logical, easy-to-explain-it-away fashion.

  • I remember Mom telling me she was going to take the ring back and keep it herself. (To avoid unnecessary drama.)
  • Mom does not remember saying this.
  • Jennifer was not present when she said it. Nor does she recall hearing about such an arrangement.
  • Jenn remembers putting it in her purse, taking it on the plane... and LOSING IT ON THE PLANE.
  • She's been racked with guilt ever since.
  • I don't remember feeling upset about her losing it. In fact, I don't even remember her telling us she lost it. I think I'd remember that, don't you? Even if I hadn't earlier suspected her, the loss of such a precious item wouldn't go *poof* from my mind... would it? Perhaps it has. Maybe it was erased or remains temporarily inaccessible from my memory.
  • I'm not alone: Mom doesn't remember the ring getting lost, either.
  • But Jennifer does remember the ring disappearing and calling the house, hysterically telling us she lost it. She doesn't remember anyone telling her that the ring was here, at the house.
It stands to reason that if the ring wasn't with her, one of us would tell her to calm down, it's here, it's safe. Leaving her free from being all twisted up inside about losing it.
However, she still believed it was lost forever... until Monday (12/04/2006).

I was sitting here in front of the computer, probably frittering and wasting the hours in an offhand way. I heard Jennifer get up and start the process of getting ready for work. This pegs the time as 11:50-ish AM.

Suddenly, suddenly, all of a sudden, she comes in here, brandishing a ring with a look on her face I cannot describe.
"Is this Dad's ring?" She was speaking with a tone I am also at a loss in describing. The words were coming out really fast. You have to tell me, is this Dad's ring? Is it? Is this his ring? Does it look like it? My God, you have to tell me...

She went on, explaining why the answer was so important:
Since Dad died, she has not dreamed of him. But the previous night, she had four dreams in a row, all of which were about Dad. All four were basically the same.
Dad coming up the steps, heading into his bedroom while Jennifer was saying something to him like, "Dad, wait. I have to ask you a question." After responding, possibly saying something like "Give me a minute," he would then disappear after going into the bedroom.

In each dream he was wearing different clothing, his dialogue differed a bit, but it always played out the same way - him coming up the stairs, going into the bedroom, then vanishing.

When she woke up and had to get ready for work, she went into Mom and Dad's bedroom to return something she borrowed.
Something caught her eye. Sitting on the dresser, where Dad kept going in the dreams, was the tiger's eye ring. It was just there.

And that's when Jenn came running in here, asking me if it was his ring. It sort of looked like it, but it was hard to tell because he was always wearing it. The only time she or I had held it (at least recently enough to remember) was right after he died.
We inspected it closely. It was far too big to be Mom's, or any other lady's ring. What are the odds that we would have two rings with the same features, anyway?

One of the first things I asked when she came to me: "Is this The Happy Death Cross?" By that I meant, is this Dad's version of THDC?**

I immediately began looking for photographs of him so we could compare the ring we were now looking at to the one on his hand.

And of course, every single readily available picture had his right
hand obfuscated in some way. The one photograph I have of him on the computer that actually features his right hand is blurry.
Jennifer had to go to work soon. We were
pressed for time and couldn't go through other pictures to do further comparisons. We kept looking at this ring from various angles.

We would have to ask Mom to be sure that this was, indeed, his tiger's eye ring and not some other ring that just happened to look like it. We discussed some of the things in the bulleted list above.

I put it on the dresser that's in here and told Jenn to step back.
That's got to be his ring, look at it from the distance we'd normally
see it. It's definitely his, isn't it? 

Was this really his ring? Did Jenn lose it on the plane? Or did she not lose it, like she thought?

Jenn had to go to work and I had to wait for Mom to come home so I could ask her about this. I was almost certain she would tell me she had taken it away from Jennifer to keep us from fighting about it.

Instead, she hit me with a shocker.
She doesn't know where it came from. It was just there. Unexpectedly and without any explanation. Just there.
But how did it get there?

Did he bring it back?
Or had he
come to Jennifer in dreams just to show her where it was?

Whether he brought it back or not is something none of us can verify. But having those dreams, then his ring showing up on the dresser out of the blue are facts I cannot ignore. It's too big to be a simple coincidence.
I believe the second option I presented is true. I believe he was showing Jenn where to find it. Possibly to ease her mind, maybe to give us all a sign or both... Maybe I just want to believe...

When I told my mother I suspected this could be The Happy Death Cross sign I've been hoping for, she told me I sounded like the nuts on my father's side of the family. Well, yeah. I'm a nut, and I'm certain a large portion of that comes from the DNA I share with them. Let's not forget the exposure I've had to these people for most of my life. In fairness to the lunatics on Dad's side, I have to point out that Mom's side is chock full o' nuts, too. And a lot of my insanity is of my own making.

Craziness aside, this whole ring incident is awesome. Awesome as in, I am in awe.
It would be different if Mom said she had it all along. But no, she doesn't know how it ended up on the dresser.
She's not a believer in things of a supernatural(?) or ghostly(?) nature. She likes her sci-fi to remain on the TV screen. She's also not the type to make something like that up. (Trust me, I grilled her extensively about this.)

The ring has been authenticated.
It is without question the ring my father always wore on his right hand.

Now I am left to wonder:
Is this the sign I've been waiting for?
Is my father in heaven?

One last note: My sister wrote about this in her journal. To avoid "contaminating" my written account of these events, I have yet to read her post. I shall do that now that I've posted this.

*After asking if I could have it, an elder gave a ring to someone else.
**The Happy Death Cross is a part of family mythology (on Dad's side).

grabbing hands | to put it in words, to write it down {3} |

Livejournal Comment Spam

Dec. 15th, 2006 | 01:55 am
human condition: annoyedannoyed

I don't know why I'm surprised by it...

grabbing hands | to put it in words, to write it down |