DeVASTation: a play on words

The first thing that stood out to me as I pondered the word “devastation” is “VAST.”

It made me think of the vastness of devastation. And I think that’s part of what defines the word, it’s the vastness of the damage or loss. Whether by natural catastrophe or spoils of war, it’s something that either effects a large number of people or effects a small number of people in a very crucial way. It’s true that a single person can be devastated, and in that case it is the vastness of suffering or loss within that one person.

The next thing I noticed was the word “station.” It’s a place or way of being. It makes me think “well, we’re stuck here.” Devastation changes where you are, and you are going to be there for a while. Whether the devastation is internal or external, it takes time to recover. Your station is changed, your station is now this mess you’re standing in. Perhaps even your station in the sense of societal role is changed, like Amy’s father in “Little Dorrit.”

So then my mind wandered a little, and this is more of a play on the sound of the word. I thought, “De-vest-ation,” humorously imagining people having to remove their vests. But then I thought about “divest” as the inverse of “invest,” and another component of the word revealed itself.

I’ve always thought of community as the antithesis of crime. When you love your home, or your community, you wouldn’t steal from it. You wouldn’t hurt the people there. You wouldn’t damage property. As far as human-caused devastation, I definitely think there is an aspect of divesting in your city, or your country, or your brothers and sisters of human kind. If people had a sense of investing in others, investing in their world, I feel there would be only building and solving problems, and no more destruction or violence. If leaders were busy investing in their people instead of reaping whatever benefits they can squeeze out of their position, there wouldn’t be corruption.

It’s more difficult to relate this play-on-sound to natural disasters, but there are ways in which we can invest in our world as to prevent them. Part of that is simply creating programs for predicting bad weather and taking precautions. We can certainly invest in the recovery process so that victims quickly and easily get back up on their feet. The other part is investing in our environment and the health of the planet. If the natural cycles of the world are “off balance,” than surely more natural disasters will occur.

And finally, I would like to move away from the seriousness of true devastation. There is real and terrible devastation in the world, and I don’t want to ignore that fact, but I do want to warn you I’m about to make a joke. Anyone can feel devastated whether it seems earned or not, whether they have lost anything at all, because it comes from being attached to certain things or people. You can feel devastated because you lost a DVD. You can feel devastated because you lost everything you own, or you can say, “Well, things are just things.”

So, not to undermine anyone’s suffering, but sometimes it is good to remember not to be a Diva.

That is all folks




Personify–The New Way to Study Ancient Computers

Personify: your modern answer to mindless hours trudging through countless boring, obsolete document files, picture files, and myspace posts.

{WARNING: This post contains obscenity and excessive nerdiness}

The year is 2214, and digital technology surveyors find it more convenient to personify ancient computers, so that instead of spending long hours sifting through old text files, selfies, and e-books, they can simply speak to the computer.

From her studies, she knew the semi-completed circle with a line through it usually indicated a power button. This one was very small, a narrow silver bar with a dot that would likely hold an LED. With the appropriate plug in place, (she checked the diagram displayed on her lap desk just to be sure,) she pressed the button. Sure enough, the little clear dot lit up.

Janna scoffed at the prosaic design, the bulky machine and its magic little lights.

Once it booted up, she loaded the Personify program. Luckily this computer fell within the 2005-2033 range, when they had a little SD card slot. The Personify program had been converted onto an SD card just for such machines.

As the program loaded up, she opened her visi-pad and set it on the table next to the old laptop. Lasers worked under a transparent surface, and soon a holographic image was drawn, line-by-line, from the glass surface upward, until a miniature human was standing in front of her.

Depending on the settings, a user could select a generic avatar, or one representing a famous person, a selection of amusing cartoons, or the user’s own appearance. But, for research purposes, Janna enjoyed talking to Personify’s approximation of what the computer’s owner actually looked like. Ever since the early 2000’s, most people living in modern society had thousands of pictures on record. Thousands. That was a lot of data to go on. The figure in front of her was slender and tall for a woman, from the looks of it. Her face was long with a narrow chin, long nose, and almond-shaped eyes.




“Hewlet Packard. August 2012.”

Janna blew out a long breath. 2012, this thing really is more than a century old. She smiled. Let’s have some fun.

“Open text files. Random document.”

“November 5th,” the hologram dutifully announced, “2014.”

Janna took in an anticipatory breath as the small representation opened its mouth. She was confused, however, when it began speaking in a robotic iambic pentameter:



Ne’er mind that’s forbidden,


AVIS up in this bitch,

the bird is the word,


Before you’re bullshit is heard,


Everyone can hear me,

Occulus reparo,

I got something you want to see.”

Janna drew her eyebrows toward each other and stared at the hologram in silence. What is this… song? Partially in Latin? Latin poetry didn’t usually contain rude language. She pondered. But then… those specific Latin words struck a chord in her memory. Weren’t the magical spells in that old folk tale from the early 2000’s in Latin? The one about wizards?

Harry Potter! She knew about Harry Potter. Most of her friends read it as children. The History Appreciation Museum was putting on a stage production–reimagining it as a space saga where all the characters would be androgynous beings and the dialogue would be completely monotone.

Some of her friends were just in a chat about possibly going.

“Hmm.” In 2014, it seemed, primitive peoples were still writing songs about widely spread cultural stories. She took some notes and made sure to rent the computer for further research.

What else did this strange person save on her computer?

“Next document,” she said.

This was a very off-the-wall response to a Daily Prompt.

***Post edit: Ohhhh my god… I still can’t believe I published that. But you know…. all in the name of candid.***


Keep the Balance

There is this movie called “Once Upon a Time in Mexico” (a belated sequel to “Desperado”) where Johnny Depp’s character is a special kind of connoisseur. He only eats a specially-prepared slow-roasted pork, and he eats it at every restaurant that serves it.

My boyfriend, Alan, has a similar hobby. If he wants to try out a Mexican restaurant, he orders the Chile Relleno. It is his way of testing the restaurant–seeing if they’re any good. I often want to joke that if the Chile Relleno is too good, Alan will have to go shoot the cook (you have to see the movie.)

I have something like that. Since I am a shameless hipster, I frequent coffee shops. Other than the obvious reason, I enjoy the people and the atmosphere. If I had a signature drink, it would be a cortado. A cortado is 2oz of espresso and 2oz steamed milk. You can taste the espresso without it being too strong, and you can enjoy a little steamed milk without that bloated feeling you get after downing a whole 20oz latte.

There is one particular place in town where the cortado by far outshines all the others. Every coffee house within 10 miles is shamed by this cortado. But I don’t think I’ll shoot the barista. I think I’ll just drink there more often.

Cheers 🙂

Life, Prompts, Uncategorized

When all the little units are strong, the whole will be a thing to behold

Community, and as a by-product, conscious consumerism, are huge topics for me. I think a lot. I say to myself, ok, let’s not just take this at face value. Let’s sit down and pick it apart. And often it doesn’t go beyond that–I think about it. I don’t join a group or start an organization: I just think about it and go on about my way. But one thing I have made a true effort to change in my daily lifestyle is consumerism. How are the aforementioned topics related? Oh, very closely.

It starts with the Government. I thought a lot about our Government and our Country. There are too many schisms, I thought. We aren’t one unit anymore, and people get lost in the vastness of it. Most people in my generation don’t take action on what we care about because we have the world at our fingertips… and it is too big. We say, “How can I conquer this?” But if you just look around at your local community, it doesn’t seem so unimaginable to make a difference. After all that thinking, I came to this conclusion: strong communities are the building blocks of a unified nation. Preferably one with over-all good intentions. Impossible? No it’s not impossible. You just start with your community.

A good community comprises many things. One is involved people who love and care about each other. Another is health–a healthy biosphere and healthy food lead to healthy people. Another thing–a very important thing–is industry and commerce. In order for a community to thrive, it needs talented people, places for them to work, quality goods and a thriving economy. That is where conscious consumerism comes in.

You see, if you are like me and you want to support a healthy community, you have to think about what you buy, where it comes from, and what it is made of. This is important for the individual’s health as well as the community’s. Items made of toxic chemicals are bad for the environment and the health of the people. Your dollar is a vote. When you buy something from a company, you aren’t just making one purchase: You are supporting that company. You are saying, “Hey, I vote for you. I want you to keep doing what you’re doing.” Therefor it is important to support companies who make good quality products, contribute the community, and treat their employees well. Is this idealistic? Sure. But striving to live up to ideals is how people and communities can improve.

There is also the obvious benefit of buying locally–supporting the local commerce. If no one is buying locally, that community isn’t getting any money, and its economy will deteriorate. You need a good internal economy as well as imports and exports.

This is only the tip of the iceberg, so thank you anyone who is reading! My lifestyle had greatly evolved as I continue to become an independent citizen and conscious consumer. I pay more for things because they come from companies I believe in and they are made of ingredients/materials I trust. I don’t make very many whim buys (when I do, it is usually coffee!) People get annoyed at me because I try to eradicate plastic from my life. I don’t want to fund slave labor overseas. I don’t want to fund toxic chemicals being pumped into the atmosphere. I don’t want to be any part of the quick & easy thoughtless consumerism lifestyle. I am passionate about this because I believe good, quality items are better for those producing and those making the purchase. I believe helping our environment and being mindful of our home is the key to sustainable living. I believe a strong community can reduce crime and poverty and increase health and happiness. Yes, I believe in happiness! I believe that if we build strong communities, we can have a strong and mindful government, and we can be unified as a country.

Thank you for giving me a moment on this soap box.


*Inspired by the Daily Prompt

Life, Prompts, Uncategorized

A prompt and a song.

Writing prompt. If you can, look up this song and listen to it while you read the prompt. Otherwise, you can just try the prompt without music (or put on your own playlist.) Read the prompt and finish the story, or use it to inspire an entirely different story. Please share your results!

Artist: The tallest man on earth.
Song: I won’t be found.

The morning hangs ad infinatum. Time hangs in limbo, holding its breath, contemplating. Small breezes tug, unsure, at her hair and the free floating folds of fabric set about her shoulders, falling gently down. A friendly touch, free of expectations, free of desires, gently hugs her hips, dancing around her legs.

With no one to hear her, the silence of dawn broken only by the feint rustling of leaves, a million shimmering teardrops on each blade of grass, she whispers:

Life, Prompts

So sweet.

Shortly after I graduated high school, I was just kind of living in my hometown, working and bumming around. I always had it with me, but in a different form containment each time. But during this time of work and play I inherited a Big Bubba Thermos, made mostly for people going camping or on long road trips. But I would carry this tankard everywhere I went, and it was full of sweet tea. I always drank sweet tea. My friend called it my security blanket.

And it was true. If such a situation arose that I should attend a gathering or person’s house which made me feel uneasy, I would always bring sweet tea: because that way I knew I would have at least one thing to do, and there would be at least one thing at the destination that suited my needs and pleased me.

No one to talk to? Drink sweet tea.

Nothing going on? Drink sweet tea.

Eventually I realized that it was impossible to clean the nooks and crannies of the complicated, air-sealed lid, and I would find little pockets of mold.

Thus Big Bubba was no more.

It was back to the most accessible form of containment. Newk’s and McAllister’s Deli were my favorite–big, plastic cups. Sometimes I would just bring a mason jar from home.

I don’t drink much sweet tea any more–mostly coffee.

But sometimes when I am to attend a friend’s house who I don’t know very well, and I feel uneasy about the situation, you might see me with a mason jar or Newk’s cup in hand.


Life, Prompts

Morning Run

The rhythm under my shoes beats to the rhythm in my ears–jungle music. The pain in my hip flexors subsides as I pull in my stomach and focus. Speckled light dances across my eyes, feeding my soul. A morning run. A declaration. A moment of truth.

This summer is going to be about goals and putting in the groundwork.