AJAX BELL

Author of the Queen City Boys books


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towns with walls

We made it to Arkansas and back.  I have to say, it really is one of the most depressing states to drive through.  Pretty in and around the mountains, but man, I felt like crying most of the way home.  Hard to explain why, partly the poverty, partly the way American small towns seem so isolated.  The isolation seems so limiting and horrible to me, like we, as a nation, are choosing to turn our backs on influences from the wider world.

I took pictures on the drive home with an actual film camera.  Weird, right? Will post if they actually turn out.

Am totally exhausted, but too much so even get up off the couch and go to bed.  I woke up early, early this morning thinking someone was running a bath in the hotel room–that booming water in small room sound–but it was actually the insane rain from the end of hurricane Ike passing over us.

I don’t know if it was the storm, or the excitement, or being not in my bed, but I had crazy ass dreams too.  Don’t remember enough to relate here, except there were dreams with in dreams and small towns that become huge temples, and visions of cities past that never existed.

Will sleep and maybe make sense tomorrow.


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the answer is no

Okay, enough with the awful dreams! Last night again being held hostage. This time by an old boyfriend. Ladybug was there too and we managed to escape when he went out to run an errand. Most of the dream was running down the street terrified, hoping we wouldn’t see him walking up the other way. We managed to make it to the subway station, and he was there. I was wearing a blue raincoat, with the hood up and I ducked my head when we passed him. Ladybug commented that it was amazing how much covering up my tattoos made me invisible. Finally we got to the opposite platform as him just as our train came so he couldn’t follow us though he did see us once we were over there. I am going to hope this was Jungian garbage dumping dream, sending out all the last vestiges of that relationship, because I am so over it (both the relationship and the bad dreams). I assume to hostage stuff was just carry over from the night before. Yuck yuck yuck.

I’ve been sleeping more lately. This, I guess, is good. Though I berate myself for getting up at 9 or 9:30 instead of 7:30 or 8. But really it’s okay. I mean I get home from work usually around 12:30 (or later) I need an hour or so to decompress before bed. Yes, yes, I will keep telling myself that it’s okay to sleep.

Nerdly: www.hasthelhcdestroyedtheearth.com

You need to view and read the source code on this one. And then click through to 3e.org to see the guy who made the page. I don’t why this all amuses me so much but it really really really does.


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what if I just stayed asleep for the rest of the week?

Today got off to a rocking start. I had a long, detailed dream that I was held hostage for many days. I managed to escape my captors long enough to call 911 several times but the cops never came. Eventually I was rescued, but still I woke up sobbing. Yes, indeed, my brain, as I’ve said before, is not always subtle. Bleh.

Shook it off, got overwhelmed by everything I need to do today, started reading political blogs (bad me! bad bad bad!) Went to coffee with Miss Sparkle. Then I sat down to make a plan and here I am telling you about how I am not doing as much work as I could be.  Really, I am only telling you all in an effort to shame myself into working.

Living room: still filled with boxes. It’s like my brain shuts down every time I think I am going to go through them.

Jewelry/crafts: need to finish projects, get stuff online and get stuff ready for sale. Need to clean up craft area so can begin sewing. Status: just fucking shoot me. I swear I’ll get on this tomorrow. In the meantime, examples of some of the news stuff is slowly going up over here. I still can’t figure out how to photograph stuff so it looks as good online as it does in real life.

Websites/media empire development: AAAAAUUUUUUUUGH!!! Need to list an prioritize stuff. Really, really, really need to prioritize. Am getting freakily overwhelmed.

Personal life: non-existent, unless you count watching Gossip Girl with Ladybug.


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detective bread

I had a dream that I got the most amazing, beautiful house in East Tennessee.  It was on the edge of a town, but had this insane, unbelievable view and was funky and perfect inside.  Then I went jogging along the train tracks, the the nearby lake, where I found a sort of cafe that had dozens of flavors of ice cream, tons of fancy cakes and pastries.  I got stuck there for a long time, looking at all the stuff they had.  Then I couldn’t get service for a long time.  Eventually I ordered something called “Cathar bread”  which was a big awesome loaf of very European bread drenched in garlic butter.  Huh.

Looking at the line-up I was unable to identify the guy who held the gun when they robbed me.  The Detective said he was going to question him anyway because of the print match on my car. The Det. is concerned because they only got good prints off the outside of car and defense attorney could argue that the suspect could have been in the neighborhood and accidentally touched the car.  Which, hello, the prints clearly show that the handle was being pulled open, but I don’t think anyone photographed them when they were visible.  The high point though was the detective assigned ot my case.  He looks like Gary Oldman in Batman if he was dressed by costume designer doing a modern day remake of a 70s cop drama (still set in the 70s). Like he didn’t look dated, or like he hadn’t changed his clothes in 40 years, but he totally looked he was in a 70s cop drama.  I loved him.  He told me he had ways of making the suspect talk and his partner balked, but the Det. Clarified that he didn’t mean torture, rather “Jedi mind tricks.”  Anyway the cop was awesome.  I want to write stories about him, except he seems to maybe be living stories that people have already written.

I need to go get in the shower.  I need to be working.  I need to be less hard on myself.  I need more sleep.  I need a vacation to the land of no people.  I need. I need. I need. I need.


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I’ve got a song in my heart and it is over-caffeinated and not in charge

Today’s songs are:

Bruce Springsteen – Long Walk Home (click to download)

Blue Rodeo – 3 Hours (click to download)

Sometimes I pick a day’s song because I can’t stop listening to it (for instance the recent “Angel of the Morning”).  Other times, like today, I pick them because they came up on my iPod while I was working and something about them struck me.  Today’s specific choices came up back to back and both struck me as particularly meaningful at this day/hour/moment in my life.

When I first started doing this, three or so years ago, I used to post lyrics and try to explain why this particular song.  Now I just post, as I assume any song’s meaning will change with the listener.  So I simply put them out there, because I got something from them emotionally, and maybe you will too.  Also I suspect that only Rhiannonhero is downloading them, and I probably don’t have to explain to her (even though she’d love it if I did). 🙂

I am now sitting here listening to Bruce Springsteen, lamenting that I don’t get to go to the concert tonight.  Boss Daddy and Chef Daddy are going.  I asked Boss Daddy if that meant I was in charge of the restaurant tonight.  In a classic parent move, he told me that both PranavaGirl and I were jointly in charge.  Heh.

This morning I went to the new coffee shop next door where I got a lovely, effusive, friendly greeting from the owners.  They’ve only been open a week or two and I’ve only been in maybe 4 times, but they always thank me and say glad to see me, in a very genuine way.  I mean, yes, new business, so they are glad for my patronage, but seriously, I live 15 yards away, they serve the best coffee ever, so yes, of course I’m gonna be there if means not having to make my own coffee.  Still it’s nice to have people seem so happy to see me first thing in the morning.

Also last night I dreamt I was opening a museum with the cast of Scrubs.  It was going to be an amazing museum which would magically educate everyone in the world to ‘right’ (my way of) thinking.  As you left the museum you’d be routed through a huge book store and after seeing the exhibits everyone would be compelled to buy many books and read.  Hmmm.


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Old tin cups, and little paper dolls

I had the craziest dream last night.  In which I worked for a corporation, in some distant future, that had perfected robotics and nanotechnology.  The corporation was utterly corrupt and sort of destroying the world.  I ended up in some epic battle with the evil leader and destrpyed her and also unwittingly unleased all the nanobots into the world’s ecology, where they sort of interbred and ate the entire surface of the planet and all the people, but this wasn’t bad.  The nanobots replicated everything, cell by cell as they ate it, so we all still existed, memories, personalities, everything intact, but we were made of the nanobots instead of our regular cells.  Some people with careful practice, began to be able to control the nanobots in their bodies, essentially making themselves immune to disease and potentially immortal, able to change their haircolor and appearance at will.  They became, in effect, witch doctor wizards, as controlling the nanos was  a skill that couldn’t be taught and only a select few developed the skill.  All the world’s environmental problems were also solved when the nanos rebuilt everything, and most the large cities were destroyed, the population, what was left of it, was redistributed into small, ecologically sustainable towns.

So, yeah, crazy dream.  I often have these insane dreams that have whole plots and character arcs, usually in excellent sci-fi futuaristic settings.  I just can’t quite remember them well enough to tell the story, or rather to write the actual story with the intensity that I dream it.  I need to figure out how to tap into the dream stories better, so I can write them.

I am doing much better today.  Work was crazy busy last night with lots of regulars coming in, asking if I was okay, as most had heard about the robbery through the neighborhood grapevine.  And I’m glad everyone is concerned about me, concerned about crime in the ‘hood and all.  But maybe I need a pin to wear or something tells people what is appropriate to ask me.  I mean, “Are you doing okay?” is acceptable.  “Are you traumatized?” is not okay.  I’m not sure I can pinpoint the distinction, maybe it was in the way people were asking.  Also, so far I am okay, and I’m getting a little tired of the sympathetic, semi-pitying expressions on people’s face when they ask how I am.  Ugh.  On the other hand, I could use more cuddling, love and telling how I awesome I am from my friends.  I guess I just don’t want it half-assed from acquaintances.  As always I am a contradiction.  I want to be babied and feel taken care of, just only from the people I choose, I guess.

To that end, I had a nice morning, coffee at the new place next door with T-Rider, who is finally back in town.  Now I am prioritizing my work task list and contemplating going and getting a pedicure instead of doing work.  I should wait ’til Saturday so Ladybug and Miss M can go with me.  *sigh*  Work it is.

Songs for today:

Whiskeytown – 16 Days [acoustic version] (click to download)

Tom Waits – Ol’ 55 (click to download)


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cops and dreams. again.

I slept in today. I woke up early. Like before 7:30. And I was awake. I could have gotten up. But I had a rough night at work last night, then stayed up another hour reading. And it’s another night of waiting tables tonight, so I opted to sleep.

As a consequence of the extra sleep I had weird dreams. One about grocery shopping. In one there was a 4th apartment in my house that a beloved friend moved out of. And for some reason as they were remodling it there were TV and DVD players all sorts of electronics in the yard which we all basically grabbed as much as we could of. Then I had a really long dream that I was catching up with a friend that I miss. In the dream she used to live next door to me and I was catching her up on everything that had happened since she’d moved. Which isn’t too far from the truth.

So this morning, I’m trying to read my email in all my multiple acocunts. I follow the same pattern: read, delete, read next, or read, reply, delete, read next. For some reason every time I try to delete or reply Yahoo! is making me reenter my password. It’s also reloading really, really, really, really slowly. I want to kick it, or blow it up. It is making me crazy.

There were a series of muggings in my neighborhood last night. Not surprising, as it’s not exactly gentrified, it’s summer, it’s hot and kids are out of school. Three 20-something guys got hit a couple blocks from my work and ran down to us to call 911. I saw this morning that a cafe nearby and few other individuals were hit in the area with in a few hours. Now I’ve mentioned before that I’m really unimpressed with the Nashville PD. But once again, I can’t figure how they make the decisions they do. So guys get mugged, call 911 and the cops respond in about 3 minutes. Then 3 cop cars hang out, asking the guys questions, and 15 minutes later the helicopter starts flying over. Um, okay. Wouldn’t it be better to have one cop car respond and interview the kids, and the others canvas the neighborhood on foot or in their cars? I’ve always wondered about the effectiveness of the copter, since there a lot of trees and fully wooded areas around here. It wouldn’t be at all hard to hide from a light in the sky. Plus it clearly did nothing since several other folks were hit, presumably by the same muggers, in the same area, after the first group of guys was.


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memory: body and mind

Last night I dreamt of complicated relationships, both romantic and platonic.  I ran through sleep confused and little sad.  Mostly trying to get to my big sister, so I could talk to her, so I could relax, so I could stop worrying. There was a nice date in the dream that consisted of lots and lots of of amazing Chinese food.  And closets full of clothes I’ve never seen. But mostly it was dreams of painful situations and anxiety and complications.  Um, Boots, clearly I need to call you today.  I have a ton to do, but I’mna try and set some time to empty my head to you.

Sometimes I feel like the past chases me in this weird way. Like I rarely dwell on it.  I remember the good times fondly and I’ve made peace with the bad parts. I live entirely in the present and look positively toward to future all the time (maybe too much, but that’s a story for a different day). And yet the past often haunts my dreams.  Not specific incidents, but people from all through it, elementary school, High school, college, last week, all seem to pop up in random storylines in strange dreamscapes. I don’t know what this means.  If I should look more to the past, or if I should simply remember that going forward I am only made up of the past.  I am nothing but an accumulation of my experiences and so, even if I’ve made peace, I am still carrying all the past with me?

Work last night was killer.  I am generally aware that I have one of the most simple jobs.  It’s really pretty easy for the most part.  But, wow, fuck me, after having a week off, I’d forgotten how hard it is to wait tables.  By the end of the night, my back hurt, I was exhausted.  I could talk to people just fine, but I’d lost the body memory of the job.  Like I wasn’t able to move around right in the kitchen and cramped spaces with other employees, I was bumping into things and generally was not at all graceful.

Also it was nearly 90 at midnight last night and swampy.  The rains rolled in this morning.  The thunder was incredibly long and loud and close for for what seemed a very long time.  Like storm wasn’t rolling over, but rather just hanging over us.


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no more white wine before bed

I dreamt of a place that looked very much like where I grew up. My whole neighborhood, the city of my youth, bent to hideous dystopian proportions. Grim, darkly terrifying, very unsettling. There were giant spiders of all sorts, creeping in windows and trying to fill rooms when you weren’t looking. And I was still so young, my mom trying to protect me, even though I was about to rush off and get married. I had bodyguards to carry me through the city, until one slacked and another made a mistake and then I was alone, in a gorgeous, richly and multi colored, bejeweled, handmade wedding dress, running through the terrors of the city alone, trying to find someone to help me. Ugh. (Robbie Bunny, if you are reading this, you were one of my bodyguards in my dream, the one who tried to save me).

Earlier in the dream, before it got terrifying, I was looking around for the coffee shop that is about to open next door to me in real life. Except I was in the neighborhood I grew up in. I finally found it, behind the gas station on 10th/Broadway and Roy. It was strange. I can’t remember the last time Seattle appeared that prominently, that clearly in my dreams. It was a very specific Seattle construction, that looks a little like the city, but appears in my dreams, always in that form and often with same emotional tenor, which is full of fear, and sense of always being rushed, and loss of privacy and security. Yet it feels strangely like home, or a place I’ve known as home even if it isn’t now.

I also stayed up too late working on some coding problems and dreamt snatches of code and fleeting ideas to solve problems that I can’t grasp the tail of now that I am awake.


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dreams, books, badness abounds

I had crazy stress dreams about moving.  Though this is a common theme for my stress dreams, it’s pretty clear where these came from. My loud, awful, crappy indie rock playing neighbors are moving out. Well, apparently they were supposed to move out by Saturday.  As far as I can tell they still aren’t out. From what I hear the new neighbors (two gay boys) We’re supposed to be moving in now -ish, but have to wait for the fuckheads to finish getting out. Anyway, I dreamt I was moving into some place I’d lived before (it looked like a combination of three places I’d had in Seattle), and I got half my stuff in only to discover the prior tenants hadn’t taken half their stuff, so I had to do all this work to move it outside, to fit my stuff in.  Then I realized I’d forgotten to tell my previous place that I was moving, so I had to come up with double rent.

Ugh, ugh, ugh, but on the plus side, in the dream, I had a job that sent me to the Caribbean occasionally.

This weekend I read Perdido Street Station by China Mieville. It’s the first Mieville I’ve read, and I have to confess, I don’t get what all the fuss was about. Maybe this simply wasn’t the book to start with, but I found it fairly tedious.  The whole elaborately created world was great and all.  Some of the characters were likable, and one even seemed to have something of a transformative journey (although unfortunately that coincided with making him unlikable to the reader). But over all the world building was a little sloppy.  There was no history of the place explained, which made it much harder to believe how such place could have come to exist. There were several places where the author directly went against previous statements he’d made about characters.  It was, in my perception, rife with little flaws.  And I can often over look that for good story-telling, or amazing world building.  Here, in this book, instead it just made me become increasingly annoyed through the whole book. the resolution at the end left much to be desired. Indeed there was little resolution at all.  Most characters had their lives completely destroyed, and the one seemed to have gone through some transformative sense of self turned out to be irredeemably bad, or at least didn’t seem able to understand the crime he’d initially paid for, and while accepting his punishment, he seemed more resigned than actually comprehending his crime and his punishment.  Over all, pretty much unsatisfying.  Also Mieville’s world here, while fascinating and quite clever at times, was pretty nightmarish. It felt so grim as to be entirely without the things that make city life wonderful and enjoyable.

As I do, I went a read the Amazon reviews after I’d finished the book.  I take some weird satisfaction in finding out if other people agreed with me.  The best one there starts “Overwrought, under-thought” which pretty well sums up the entire thing for me.  I mean, I didn’t hate it as much as that reviewer, but man, I’m feeling really unsatisfied after having waded through the muck of the entire book. Someone else said, “Five stars for imagination, two and a half stars for execution.” Which is perhaps a better description of how I felt about the whole thing.

Now I need to make my to-do list for the next few days.  And get lots done.  LOTS AND LOTS. So I wil feel satisfied with my days off. Vacations are for extra productivity, dontcha know. Although mostly what I want to do is pick a up book a know will be good and read Perdido Street Station right out of my memory.

Can someone tell me, are Mieville’s other books better? Did I pick up the one bad one? Or should I just skip all of them?