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Phillipe seemed more concerned about possible smoke contamination, damage, scorching. He cited an UNESCO resolution. But none of them paid him much mind because the prospect of uncooked meat was far more terrifying than being prosecuted for destroying cultural property. Besides, Grigore pointed out as he ripped pages out of field books and scavenged the far corners for anything that would burn, there were several remnants of fire rings throughout the cavern. None of them mentioned the obvious fact that the last fire had been quenched 32,000 years before. Parietal art had been entirely painted in the light cast by flames. Frank attempted a small, informative lecture on this but no one was paying him attention, least of all the Romanian speleologist.

They had already caught all the blood they could with an awkward, horrific handling of Stephen’s corpse, twisting it this way and that, upending him bodily by the legs as though he were a vessel to be poured out to the last drop. And in a way, his body was just exactly that. There was more volume than they had anticipated and some of it ran over the lip of the last Kleen Kanteen, slicking the aluminum canister with the liquid. It rivulted down the sides and into Martin’s sleeve, a pitch-black stain.

It was warm and salty and revolting. But it had been the end of the fifth day after the water was gone and they drank it with less fanfare than they had drank their own urine, which had consisted of a morbid kind of toast, down the hatch and such. That had been on the second day after they conceded their last, shared sip of canteened water. They had begrudgingly begun to catch the small output of urine each of them was producing. Not much but enough to survive another day and then one more but that was it.

Martin, with his Ph.D. in philosophy rather than archeology implied that it would not be lost on historians that they had made a deliberate human sacrifice beneath the vigilant eyes of bison painted on the cave wall by ancestors so ancient they could have been aliens. Frank mumbled something about the state of nature they had found themselves in and perhaps they should be more concerned about the vigilant eyes of the law, but he quickly quieted himself. He had been consciously fighting a tendency towards hysteria.

The very reason they were in the predicament they were in was the cave paintings. An exploration that had been weeks in the planning. The descent into the earth, Grigore leading them further and further away from the surface. Phillipe had quoted Dante as they departed the excited base group who were keeping out of the misty rain by herding beneath the EZ-Ups. They had looked back, beneath helmets and headlamps, and packs of camera equipment. It was meant to be a quick descent.

Time had become tangled, knotted and unraveling, but Phillipe tallied the days in his field book.

Somewhere around the ninth day, Martin had posited the idea of fate, the whims of the gods. The statistical improbability of entering the cavern that had stood open and inviting if hidden for tens of hundreds of centuries, only to have tectonic plates gnash their teeth during those hours and trap the group.

They ignored him, all pretense of politeness gone. Grigore might have even growled.

They each had packed a small emergency provision, space blanket, two energy bars, antibiotic cream, aspirin, and an extra long-life battery for the headlamp.

Hypothermia was their third concern, after hydration and calories. But perhaps their first encumbrance, before the most basic of human needs, water, food, warmth, was the damned radio. The crackling voice far above them, on the surface, where the mouth of the cave had once swallowed them whole. The disembodied voice from above that informed them of the failed rescue attempts, the medical advice, the somber agreement that they would not survive, before they bashed Stephen’s head in while he slept.

They hadn’t drawn straws or rolled dice or even asked him if he was willing, they simply decided with silences and strange long looks shared in the LED beams. Stephen’s left leg had been crushed when a portion of the cave ceiling fell upon him. Boulders the size of cars raining down, shook loose by the thunderous earthquake.

Grigore and Frank insisted on reassuring them that Stephan had not felt a thing. In and out of consciousness, the restless, moaning sleep. The labored breathing and the pleading. Grigore even suggested they had done a brother a favor.


In a dream I felt the universe open at my back. Expanding endlessly behind me. I hesitated there on the edge of falling backwards, arms spread wide, the cosmic trust catch.

Asleep on the floor of the cave, pulverized granite a sandy, uncomfortable bed, asleep beneath my blanket of pain; the world opening through the broken hole in my skull the size of a rock in a man’s fist.
* I am loving, loving, loving Once Upon a Time! I am so glad I tried it again and stuck through those first cringey episodes. I'm seeing now that it's a story about reformation. The Evil Witch/Stepmother is going to be redeemed...or at least that is going to be addressed. And that's a great fairy tale trope! The literal reading regarding adoption isn't the best way to approach this symbollic story. I finished Seasons 1 and 2 and now Season 3 is opening with a Grand Adventure. I'm curious to see what this Peter Pan reveal is going to be all about because right now it's murky. I'm also enjoying the sexual tension between Emma and Hook. Who happens to be utterly delicious. (And I'm getting spoiled in my own comments and that's kinda bumming me out.)

And speaking of sexual chemistry. I KNEW IT!!! I just knew that the sparks flying between Snow and Charming had to be deeper than acting chops. They are ELECTRIC together. And the actors are married and have children! Well, of course! Anyone know that story? Did they meet on set? I think their chemistry is one of the things that really makes this show hum.

Jennifer Morrison is also one of those beauties who exudes sexiness and sparks off all her counterparts, male and female. I still am frustrated by the House/Cameron 'ship that sunk. So, Emma is humming. But the real treat is the strange chemistry between Rumplestiltskin and Belle. Both actors are a bit odd themselves and that oddness is used to its very best advantage in OUaT. Really stellar scenes between the two of them. Carlyle is such a funny duck. I mean, this is the cat who made The Full Monty a sensation.

So, suffice it to say that I wish others were currently watching and I sure wish I had been watching in real time.

* Had my folks up yesterday for a hearty stew and to wish the kids a safe trip. It was a really mellow day and I'm seeing now the underlying tension that my baby sister brings to social events. Avoiding her is doing me good at the moment.

* POURING. And no sign of slowing down. Snow predicted for the end of the week. Winter is just intense this year.

* Writing my Idol piece today. I have all the electronics plugged in in case these gusty winds knock out our power. I'm feeling the pressure now to get this latest entry done. Idol feels different to me this Season and I'm trying to sort if it's me or the game/contestants. My writing feels different, my approach to the prompts. It's all intriguing to ponder. I am seriously attracted to this week's prompts and have come up with numerous ideas.

* I've got two loaves of pumpkin bread in the oven. I have no real excuse for this, other than misty rain. So, yeah. Also, I'm going to make a gingerbread pound cake for Sunday because my folks are coming up for a dinner to wish Kidling2 and gf a safe and fun trip to Mexico next week. D and I have a week off! But no Mexico. We were invited but D is still maintaining his no-fly status. For life.

* Doll bodies ordered. Now the wait. THE WAIT for Asian BJDs is insane really.

* Going stir crazy with this rain. I mean, I'm still all into the hygge but I miss walking. We walk ALOT. I will walk in a light shower, but it's been raining. And today it's thunder-storming.

* So, two TV shows.


tsuki_no_bara here are some thoughts. Not sure who else is watching?!

Damn, but Zilpha is simply NOT working. I cannot imagine what impressed the casting director with this actress. She's terrible. The eye-popping is just incredibly off-putting. She's about as exuding of sexiness as a rain-soaked 2x4. I keep wanting to give the director room to show us why he has this actress in this role, but so far it's just an abysmal miss in an otherwise hard-hitting cast. I do wonder if coming off of Penny Dreadful, I'm wanting to see Eva Green in this role. Or if its the lusty chemistry Hardy had with Theron in Fury Road or with Riley in Wuthering Heights that has me so terribly disappointed with this cold fish romance.

But Hardy DOES have chemistry, in spades, with Atticus and Cholmondeley. These guys are fresh and wild and full of sass and vinegar.

The costuming should win awards. My gothic-loving heart can barely take it. The hats, especially, are rocking it so hard that I wish we could wear hats like that today. Why aren't we wearing those hats today???

The show continues to be a bit of a peacock but the dialogue has grown far more interesting. Hardy has a gift for delivering a hackneyed line with a deft and delicious originality.

So far the fic is bland. And oh so naive. This is a mature show and not a darker Pirates of the Caribbean.

Once Upon A Time

I am really, really loving this show! And I have to respectfully disagree with spotzle about it going plaid and with those who disliked it because of a too-literal reading. Season 2 is fantabulous!!! So much more interesting and twisty than the set-ups of Season 1. There is such a glut of characters and 90% of them are well-acted and well-written. I'm relieved that Henry has now pointed out that some of these characters are NOT fairy tale characters and I'm willing to buy this new canon they want the audience to accept. Carlyle's Rumplestiltskin is far more nuanced and enjoyable now. There are so many beautiful people on this show that it also is enjoyable just to watch. And they have the "mature" actors as well which puts it into distinctly different country than say, The Vampire Diaries. I've been hit with a few plot bunnies but mainly for the lesser characters because the main cast is pretty well realized story-wise.

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* We have migrating sandhill cranes and you can't step outside without hearing the gorgeous harmonics of their calls.

Still listening to this -

*FLAILS*Today is a flailing day and I LOVE flailing so it's a good day. A GREAT DAY!!! And yep, this is a familiar old feeling for me....I need to get back to regular flailing.

* I'm mostly flailing because in a conversation with roterwolkenvogl I checked back on the availability of the dollshe bodies and they are back in stock and on sale!!! This is so incredibly exciting because it means two things. One, I can get my King Death on a posable body and photograph the heck out of that gorgeous doll. kittytoes outdid herself with the SA Death and the OE Death. Here's the Slack Afternoon King -

SEE?!?!??!? But I can't stand that stiff body. And was so upset that I had ordered him just before the L4 bodies were released...and of course, Mr. Dollshe couldn't change my order and it just made me grumpy. NOW I can get this guy the body he deserves and I simply am over-the-moon excited. I have been longing to return to the dolls.

I can also pick up a 44cm body and send the Petit Mal off to Kat's astonishing atelier! The whole entire doll, and she can do whatever crazy and artistic thing comes into her mind! YAY!!!

Here's an older Dollshe boy with many movable parts -

My Dollshe boys are the beloved for me.

* I also have finally found time to follow a white rabbit down the youtube rabbit hole. A few weeks back I stumbled across Lord Huron and though he sounded a bit too much like Springsteen for me to completely flip out. Then, today, I found this video and fell out of my chair and crawled around on the floor until I regained enough strength to buy the album and hit replay over and over and over.

How did I not know about this cat for years??

Happy St. Valentine's!

* I've decided to collect these Death-themed videos over on my other LJ. I'll let you guys know when that project is up and running. But for now have some well-aged Shirley Collins in a memento mori video -

* And these two are for kittytoes who loves all things puppet-y -

* I finally bought office furniture but it could be craft room fixin's too. So....I'm working upstairs today trying to sort that mess. I need to be able to get to my craft supplies, more than just the yarn and needles. I've got ideas for dolls.

* Local situation is still sucky. The valley is full of angry displaced people so I'm staying home.
I am okay!!! Thank you ALL OF YOU who reached out and checked in. I am 3,500 feet above the lake, high in the hellbilly mountains of the Sierra Nevada. However, Oroville is the County seat and back when I used to be a politikal animal I dealt with almost all of these emergency folks you are now seeing - around the globe - talking about the potential disaster. The sheriff, I will tell you, does NOT have a soft spot for heavily-tattooed women and he and I have butted heads on several occasions, that being said, I feel for the guy. What choice did he have?! Damned if you do and damned if you don't. Just not sure we needed an EMERGENCY evacuation at five last night with ten minute countdowns to imminent failure! THAT WAS SCARY AS ALL HELL and The Viking and I just happened to be down in the valley when all of this happened. CRAZY CHAOS!! We checked in on our local peeps then hightailed it back up the hill only to hear that the water folks had managed to wrestle control back from Mother Nature and things are now in a semi-controlled holding pattern.

Yeah. Not sure anymore I believe a single government worker. This situation is tenable and not good. The erosion that freaked folks the fuck out yesterday is a ginormous cavity that has serious implications to the rest of the water management for this rainy winter. I just don't know and wouldn't begin to hazard a speculative guess as to what could happen. We certainly did not see this happening on Saturday when the emergency spillway began to spill.

The road to the recreation area has blown out. So there goes that hike for, oh, probably the next decade. And that's just a "me" concern. I really have no idea what or how this situation is going to be managed. The images that show yellow-slickered engineers scurrying all over the wreckage....put it into perspective. Sometimes, we are ants.

why the oroville dam will not collapse

* So, this crazy, crazy thing is happening down the road and I'm stunned it's not getting more national/international coverage. We are all on tenterhooks!

Oroville Dam Spillway Failure

Remember that New Year's hike I took? Well...that's the dam. And the spillways. Sadly, I don't think I'll be hiking over there for at least a decade's time. The repairs to the spillway are going to top 1 billion and could take upwards of ten years. The dam road is closed now and I can't imagine it opening with construction going on. I do NOT think the dam is going to fail...but the current situation is already a disaster and the emergency spillway is going to cause untold ecological damage. The poor baby Chinooks!!!

* Not 100% about my Idol entry this week. I ended up NOT going with my dark idea but rather trying to add to my novel WIP....I haven't committed to it entirely yet. I'm still tweaking and stepping back and tweaking and stepping back. It looks different in different lighting. I need to reach down deep inside of my lazy bones and START WRITING.

* Growing one's fringe out is an exercise in fashion futility. Ugh. Not sure it's worth the frustration.

* OMG, Taboo!!! Just slayed it this week. Like this show got sit-up-and-pay-attention interesting!! Tom Hollander is stealing this show!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This melding is fantabulous stuff -

“I don’t know,” she said again. “Really. They’re the only ones who know and they aren’t telling. Ever.” Her voice slightly edgier with firmness. She forked a bite of her French toast, swirling it in the maple syrup pooled on her plate, and then leaned across the kitchen table while he dutifully opened his mouth.

“You are the queen of the eggy bread,” he told her, talking around the bite of breakfast she had given him.

“Apt. Some folks refer to French Toast as poor knights.” She smiled. “I'm surprised you never had it until I made it for you.”

“Strange origins.”

“We’re all strange. I don’t think there’s a normal out there.”

He cocked an eyebrow. “Differing degrees of strangeness. Families. In my case, it was a bad strange. In yours, I’m going to assume a good strange.”

“I’m sorry.”

“For the millionth time, you don’t need to be.”

“I don’t like to think of it. You. Him. Your sisters. That house.” She kept her gaze fastened to his, refusing to drop it to the tell-tale edges of the thick scar that ran from just beneath his left ear to the notch at the base of his throat.

“Then don’t.”

She glanced quickly at his throat, the reminder that not all childhoods can be survived. Somehow, he had.

“So when you say ever you mean never and you believe that?”

For a long moment, she tried to place the conversation back in context, then remembered. Her mothers, or mother and aunt. “I believe that. Yes. They will take the knowledge to their graves.”

“No one else knows. You didn’t know your grandparents?”

She shook her head. “I didn’t. They say they were raised by their grandmother. Kicked out of the house as soon as the pregnancy was discovered. Well, my mother was thrown out. Her sister went with her. They were seventeen years old,” she paused, “the same age Sorcha is now.”

“Times have changed in the last fifty years,” he said, picking up his mug of coffee.

“Fifty-one years,” she answered, laughing, then sobered thinking about her teenage daughter, always a bit awe-struck at how her unwed mother and her mother's twin sister endured a pregnancy and a child on their own, still minors. “I mean, obviously, I would be worried about Sorcha if she found herself in that situation.”


“You know what I mean. Got. Arrived. Became. It's semantically problematic, isn't it?”

“In these modern, enlightened, and empowered times even. Which takes us to the next question. What happened to your father?”

She shook her head again, pushing a slice of the French toast on her plate around and around in the lake of syrup. It was soggy and she flipped it over deftly to let it soak on the other side. “I don’t know. Literally know nothing. They don’t talk about him. At all.”


“Never ever.”

“And they don’t talk about their parents.”

“Nope. Well, actually that’s not true. They do but in fairy tale terms.”

He raised both eyebrows and reached across for the piece of toast on her plate. She put her fork down and wiped her sticky fingers on the cloth napkin. She rolled it into a long cylinder, folding it, unrolling it, worrying at it, considering how completely her mother and aunt had severed the familial tie because of her unborn life. She could feel him waiting for her to explain, his expression cautiously expectant. “They say that their father is two fathers. Conjoined twins. And that their mother died delivering them. And that they were conjoined as well, a band that their own grandmother sawed through the day of their mother’s funeral.”

“I could, honestly, believe that. They are so identical I can’t tell them apart. Faith and Hope.”

“I couldn’t when I was young. I can now.”

“So, they have a scar in the same place?” His long fingers came up to run the length of his self-inflicted scar.

“No. Not that I’ve ever been shown. Or have ever seen.”

“It’s not a true story,” he said this simply.

She suppressed a shudder. Truth and falsehoods. Her entire life could be poured into a funnel of facts and lies and what she knew to be true and what she guessed to be false. Ultimately, she had decided it didn’t matter. Much. Both women were simultaneously mother and father to her. Which of the twins had actually carried her, birthed her, nursed her seemed, after decades of consideration, to be a moot point.


They weren’t born conjoined, that came later. A teenage pregnancy welded them together. Back together. Monozygotic, the two had been one for ten days before god and all his devils separated them, splitting the single fertilized egg right down the middle. Faith on one side, Hope the other. Embryogenesis, a birth before the birth. Inside the universe, inside the house, inside their mother, inside their amniotic sac.

They spent unborn months reaching for one another until their reach grew out the length of their arms and they found comfort in fetal embrace. Holding fast. Pressed congruent, even the midwife with her pinard horn pressed fast could not discern two heartbeats. In time, in time, in time.

Their mother knew though. She had dreamt of Siamese twins, or rather she had dreamt lying with Chang and Eng. An erotic coupling, or tripling. She had woken, panting, flushed with satiation, then fevered by guilt. She would have rolled over in the bed and into her husband’s arms, but he had gone to war. Before the days were counted down, marked off on the calendar, before the rejoicing.

The babies grew and she would stand naked beneath the flickering incandescent light in the bathroom and place a hand on each side of her growing belly and feel the elbows and knees and skull of her children. She knew.

As though members of a death-defying circus act, the sisters maintained each other’s umbilical cords, lifelines, feeding naval strings through the palms of their hands during somersaults and acrobatic kicks. Entanglement always a primitive fear.

The birth canal was daunting, something they could not do together, and they balked. Instead they were born of woman through a man-made opening into the world. Born holding hands, the caul splitting over the crowns of their bowed heads, and Faith screwed her eyes shut tight, her mouth gaping to cry out at such a delivery, Hope with her mouth sealed, eyes wide open.

Inconsolable unless together, Faith crying out, Hope thrashing silently, the widowed mother quickly learned. Tucked into cradle and crib and elbow, face to face, their features mirrored, their postures mimicked. Contented. But ignorant. Their father’s death, their mother’s anguish, her mother’s resolve.

The miscarried present, the unconceived future. Their story written in a single book.
* Welp, that was just about one of the worst weekends I've ever experienced without a physical crisis at the heart of the malaise. Mid-week and I'm still not over it. I may not ever recover from some of it. Ugh. I am trying.

* Distraction with writing, knitting, can't read, tv is dumb, can't walk because the world has become 40 days/40 nights, can't craft because I can't find a damned thing in that chaotic mess. Listening to music with headphones on, lying in the dark. I have a darkly strange idea for Idol. Not sure I'll be able to write it.

* Anyone else keep chocolate milk in the house for their morning coffee? My children think I'm odd. Who else adds a packet of gelatine to their first cup of joe?

* Huge thrifting book haul yesterday. Looks like Tuesday junking is going to be the "thing" my mother and I do each week. I found a first edition of "The Historian"! And another copy of *heh* "Wuthering Heights". AND A TROMBONE. Do not ask me why I bought a 70 year old trombone. And a bag of rabbit furs professionally tanned. I felt I had to "rescue" those pelts.

* I have a SLEW of submissions I'm working on. So much work to do! I really, really, really would love to find a home for the novella. But I've also got tens of thousands of short form words from Idol....

Munly is my love. I wish he was loved by others. This guy. Here's a cut from his astonishing banjo musical for Peter & the Wolf -

one day baby....we'll be old

* Eighteen acres and a 2/1 on the coast? Yes please. D and I are back to considering the second half of our lives. I am feeling utterly overwhelmed by this need to be near the sea. I can't explain it, not sure if it warrants explanation. It's not a desire that is on a mind level, it's a heart's desire. D is breaking it down, our plans, into three options. First, this ocean fantasy. Second, we begin waiting, watching, offering on ridge properties up here. We live in the deep dark forest of a volcanic ridge. That means that on either side of this ridge are properties that have expansive views out over the valley. These properties are highly sought after because the views are something astonishing. I have one friend with a great log cabin on the west side and he actually has a room set up for just watching the view. It's got a huge plate glass window with two recliners in front of it and small fridge loaded with wine and craft brew. He says he and his wife sit there each evening and every morning rather than in front of a television. It makes sense. The Valley is something to behold. We are up above the clouds and when the clouds are thick they roll towards the ridge like a white foaming sea. At night you can see the cars on the coastal range and emergency vehicles down on the interstate. Further smaller ridges beckon the hiker and from some of the ridge properties you can actually drop down into the valley and hike across. So, that's an option insofar as I seem to be wanting a horizon to stare at. The third option is an RV.

* I'm at another standstill with the room applications. I simply can't seem to commit to furniture. And it's not just the cost...it's the fact that once the furniture is purchased, the room is committed to that design. Office? Craft? Guest quarters? It's all making me crazy and I'm slowly backing up, which leaves everything still a chaotic mess.

* D wants to go on a long hike down to the creek. It's very wet outside, alternating between raining and uh, raining. So I may sit this one out.

* Almost done with my Idol reading. Whew! The prompt this week was "Where I'm From" and I debated, as I've done every week this Season, going non-fic. I don't think most would care to read my sad stories....so instead I just mull and mull them over inside my own head and write instead a fictional sad story that sets its hooks. But all this introspection which I don't usually indulge in has had me rethinking some basic premises I used to hold about my life. I know we are a nomadic peoples but I'm thinking that moving every three years is not good for growing humans. All that water flowing under a single bridge.

My fave threesome adds a fourth. Anyone on the flist know what happened to the original video?