07
Dec
17

Chinese Astrology Apology!

*****
I am a huge idiot for not checking sources more often.  I have been making Chinese Astrology art for some years now.  I thought, back in 2012, I had both the solar and lunar years right.  But, it seems I was wrong.  And, it really bothers me to learn this.

So, I am correcting this from now on.  The next artworks should be accurate.  The old ones…I may just need to trash and burn.  Well, the lunar year ones, anyway.   [IE Wood Sheep’s lunar picture shows 4713, and Fire Monkey is labeled 4714.]  The solar are fine.

Just to keep your heads on straight and as informed as me (and feel free to correct me if I am wrong)…

2017 solar /4717 lunar = Fire Rooster

2018/4718 = Earth Dog

2019/4719 = Earth Pig

2020/4720 = Metal Rat

2021/4721 = Metal Ox

Essentially, the years mirror each other with just the first two numbers differing.  AND I FIRST SEE THAT NOW!   Why didn’t anyone tell me when they saw my artworks?

Also, if you were interested…

The elements go in order of “destruction.”  This means two years of one element are followed by two of the next.  The order is:

Fire

Earth

Metal

Water

Wood

And, the basic order of animal years is:

Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig

[That much I knew.]

 

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28
Nov
17

Have I Missed a Day? Calendar Wha?

****

I’m looking at my stats for whatever reason (not sure why I bother), and I see some for tomorrow…today.  I look at my watch.  As far as I can tell, it’s still the 27th.  But, the stat page shows new results for the 28th…hmm.

I should probably do a lil search to check where the WordPress main office is, again.  But, I’m pretty sure it’s not outside the USA because the stats are from the USA, nowhere else.  SO…  Can someone explain this, please?

[I know.  That’s why they have forums.  But, I like my comfy blog sofa.  And, I’m feeling a bit lazy like a lap cat.  Meow.]

01
Nov
17

A Date with Corona #3

*****

Date #3:  Downloads and Uploads

Rain threatened to spoil our Friday meeting.  But, I wouldn’t let it.  Grabbing an umbrella, I trotted down to the café where we agreed to meet.  It wasn’t hard to spot the halo and that now familiar denim jacket.  [I wondered why no one else said anything about the light.  Maybe they did.]  A lush brown ponytail rested over one shoulder, bound by a ruffled ring of red elastic.  My opinion of her had improved over the past few encounters, but the mystery remained.  A soft red cap and a wall of feathery bangs allowed her to avoid eye contact.

Biting my hasty tongue, I refrained from questioning her tactics, opting to let her lead the interaction.

She began with a simple question.  “Is there something you need?”

The moment I opened my mouth, rain began to fall in heavy loads, creating broad splashes across the surrounding sidewalk and intersecting streets.

“Okay,” she said, her voice reduced to a droning whisper by the downpour.  She pulled a pen and a paper pad from her jacket and laid both on the table.  “Here is a crossword puzzle.  We can solve it, together.”

Though grateful for the icebreaker, I wasn’t about to sit for another long period with this woman and not have some food in my stomach.  So, I checked the price line on the menu and loaded up my placemat with an order of appetizers.

She merely looked down at the facing puzzle page, occasionally glancing at the food.

I said, “You can have some.”

Hesitating, she put down the pen, reached over and stuffed a fat mozzarella stick into her mouth.  “Delicious.”  There was zero enthusiasm in her voice.

Slightly irritated, I waited for her to say more.

“Mmm!” she added, dragging the sound out to satisfy my probing curiosity.  [I’ll admit, she stirred something deep within myself.]

When all that remained of the food was a handful of cold fried eggplant wedges, we plowed through the remainder of crossword puzzle in a matter of minutes.  All the while, the rain kept pecking away at my contentment, nudging me to chase outside, to embrace Mother Nature.  Wrapping up the cold leftovers, I grabbed my umbrella and encouraged Corona to join me.  She quietly followed me to the register, waiting for me to pay my bill.  But, when we reached the glass doors, she stalled.  Considering she had her own umbrella, I didn’t know why.

We walked, and I did most of the talking until the rain stopped.  When I suggested going back to her place, she said something strange, stranger than usual, that is.  “Your location is currently in use.”

“Come again?”

“Okay.  I’d be glad to come home with you.  You can always change settings, later.”

I wasn’t in the mood to argue, so we made our way back to my place.  Leaving her umbrella by the front door, she took a keen interest in the furniture.  I worried she might find fault with it.  Instead, she stroked a hand across the desk and asked, “Would you prefer me to sit here or on your lap?”

My face flushed, and my legs went numb.  A bottle of champagne popped its cork in my head.  What a question.  I considered saying neither before resting my tired legs on the nearest couch.  Corona joined me, folding both legs under her jiggling rear end, easing toward me with one arm extending along the back of the couch.  It’s not easy to get comfortable with someone’s glowing ring in your face.

Removing her soft, denim casing, Corona gave me an eyeful of her upper body.  [Had she not been wearing such a finely textured top, I might have been annoyed.  I’m not the sort who appreciates nudity thrust upon him.]  “Do you like what you see?  If so, I can send you more pictures.”

My mind was perfectly capable of taking pictures.  I didn’t need more cluttering up every surface they can occupy, and, had I accepted, I was afraid I might become more reclusive than I already was, ogling an image in a state of hibernation instead of dealing with reality.  “Not right now.  Thanks.”

“Okay.  Well, what do you want to do now?”

My thoughts went immediately to playing cards, escaping the sexual influences flooding the gray matter.  I knew very little of her personal interests, thus I couldn’t suggest anywhere else to go or activities to try.  We had tried so little together, and she was regularly asking me for ideas.  I needed her to jumpstart my brain with some information.  I searched her shadowy face for help.

“Sure.  Watching ‘net flicks.  Here.  Let me help you with that.”

Obviously, I had to dig out my computer before she could complete the task.  I hadn’t planned on using my computer as a home theater nor watching a movie before evening, but she was quick to take command.  Turning to me for a title, she found it within seconds.

Strangely, Corona chose to sit in front of me, obstructing my view.  I wasn’t exactly thinking about fondling her, but she was within my reach, accessible to my touch.  It was all just a screen.  When I grabbed her shoulder, she removed my hand and said, “Sorry.  I can’t connect right now.  Try again in a little bit.”

I nearly slept through half of the movie.  My mind just couldn’t stay focused.  Before the end credits had even finished scrolling, my guest proceeded to pop up onto my lap and linked her lips with my own.  I fell into a submissive posture with a growing ache in my back.  Releasing her ponytail, she let a cascade of chocolate waves crash over my neck and chest. My eyes danced as she mechanically shifted her weight up and down the length of my trembling body.  I was loaded with ideas for what to do in that moment, ideas that were not going to fill me in on who this woman was, something I vitally wanted to know before I let her into my private space.  All I knew was her voice, a portion of her façade, her ability to play cards and help with certain computer difficulties.  I didn’t even know if she liked the movie.

Now, it was my turn to bar her and seek refuge.  I asked Corona to leave before I completely lost control.  I could hear a fan inside her head powering up as she forced herself to switch gears in a hurry.  Her retreat gave me chills.  [And, the air-conditioning wasn’t helping.]

Dozing off on the couch, I was startled by the telephone.  A familiar voice met mine across the line.  “Mmph–  Corona?!”

“*Sigh* You mean Cortana.”

‘Same sweetness, but the tone had changed.  “Uh.  Okay.”

“Mr. Writingbolt, my name is Alexis? Cortana.  And, I am afraid you’ve met with my impersonator.”

To Be Continued…

~Writingbolt, 9-26-2017

a date with cortana corona-ap-1J

 

 

01
Nov
17

A Date with Corona #2

*****

Date #2:  The Stuck Update

It was a mild and relatively uneventful Thursday afternoon when I went searching for some Word on my new acquaintance.  Along the way, I came across a game shop and couldn’t resist a bargain, a few new decks of cards.  I have a peculiar fascination with playing cards but am so sick of magicians’ card tricks.  I also was tiring of the solitaire life which was why I needed to track down Corona before my hard drive went soft and useless.

Forgetting what I originally sought, I soon found myself at an impasse.  Traffic was terribly slow, and my patience was thinning fast.  Accidents were piling up everywhere I turned.  Progress was lost.  After a lengthy discussion with helpful police, I was finally able to cruise along the unlit highway.  [I mean there were no wires; thus there were no lights.]  I had spent too much time.  My plan to play the links would have to wait for another day.

I found Corona idling at the docks.  She was perched atop a rope-bound cluster of weathered posts, gazing out at the sea.  She had been sitting there too long.  Her interests were not available at the moment.  Though the scene was strangely motionless and serene, my ears detected distinct sounds:  the ding of a buoy, a seagull circling overhead and the swish of the incoming tide.

When I tapped her shoulder, a boot descended from its step, probing the amber sand.  She turned to me, her face a silhouette framed by a warm, watercolor sky.  I searched her blank façade for some way to break the ice on my skin (though my hands were sweating).

As if I had asked a question, she said, “Sorry about that; I didn’t hear anything.  Try telling me what you are holding.”

Blinking twice at the oddly worded request, I remembered the bag of card decks.  If she thought I put her off to shop for my own amusement, I was sure she would leave me in the next few minutes.  It was almost sundown, and I did not think this was the best time or place to play any games that required a table.  So, I suggested we move somewhere closer to home.

She replied, “On the range,” and proceeded to search her memory for more info on that old song.

Calling her by the name I had chosen, she replied, “Sorry; that is not my name.  But, if you like, I can change it.”

“Can I call you Corona?”

There was a long pause.  Her shoulders shifted slightly.  “All right.  Call me Corona.”

[That was too easy…and a little creepy.]

I reached for her hand.  She eluded my grasp but stood, ready to follow.  With the alternate lighting, I could now see she was very close in height, satisfying one more vital interest of mine.

We drove back to a preferred hangout where the food is normally cheap and adequate if you can put up with the noise (when the place isn’t eerily vacant).  Finding us a corner booth, I laid out my recent purchase.  There was just enough light to see the glossy, lifeless faces.  Her face hibernated in the shadows.  [Why did she maintain such secrecy?  And, if she did not want to be with me, why did she follow me?]

Her shrouded form leaned back against the padded bench.  “All right,” she said.  “You play cards.”

I was going to have to warm her up to the idea.  So, I dealt her a hand and lifted my own.

She sat quietly for a minute before saying, “Playing cards.”  [How she picked up those cards, I don’t know.  But, the game was on.]

Trying a little “footsie” under the table, I extended a leg and felt her boot withdraw.  The word “boyfriend” crossed my mind in a flash.  When I asked, she said, “Sorry.  The Internet and I are not talking right now.”

A wall of fire stood between me and her heart.  She had led me on to think she was personally interested.  But, perhaps, all she wanted was a sense of purpose while coping with a lost connection.  The quickness of her response to my requests was merely a silent plea for friendship.  The friend zone.

Normally, anyone dating would dread the sound of that phrase.  But, I think Corona and I were both in great need of companionship.  And, what’s a dream of marriage without the words “my best friend?”  Still, I was second fiddle, at best, at the moment, and in no mood to compete, whether this Internet was a mind more vast and productive than my own or a huge tool.

Focusing on the game, I had to remind myself to explain the rules.  Corona beat me to the punch, reciting them for me until I cut her short.

Silence may be golden when your head is full of noise.  But, now, it was making me nervous.  Outside my range of vision, something was brewing within my companion.  I could almost hear her mind clicking, processing, updating.

“Shall I play some music?” Corona asked.  As if she knew the place better than me, she turned on the nearest sound system and presented me with a list of songs.  I timidly picked one and waited for the opening melody to soothe my nerves.  Four hours later, midnight was a heartbeat away, and we were still playing.

Words shared were few, and most of them came from my own mouth.  I was hungry but had no ambition to fix a late dinner. My eyesight was beginning to fail when my subconscious grew discontent with the persistent mystery across the table.  As much as I wanted to hide my face from her, I felt naked in her presence.  With my brain entering what I call “zombie” or “sleepy silly” mode, my secrets would soon be hers.

Without another peep from me, she picked up on my thoughts and said, “Okay.  Let me fix that.”  The light over her head shifted and grew, adding inches of color to her appearance from the tips of her boots to the curve of her slender nose.

Below that nose, a pair of lean yet elegant lips formed a friendly smile atop a graceful limb.  One slender strap from a red camisole slid down her creamy right shoulder, exposing a sliver of cleavage beneath the tips of a wavy brown curtain.  She adjusted her privacy settings.

Glancing past the table, I could see a pair of weathered denim shorts and knee-high, charcoal suede boots.  A delicate white watch adorned her left wrist.  Everything above the nose remained her secret.  [Without knowing me for more than a few dates, this gal sure seemed to grasp my love of mystery and my taste in women’s fashion.]

“Is that better?”

My stunned response came as a nod.

A faint giggle escaped her smile.  “Sorry.  I didn’t hear anything.  Try telling me what you are thinking.”

I could not accurately read any clock.  I was barely conscious yet holding on to the moment with everything I had in reserve.  My thoughts wanted only for a comfy bed and someone to share it.

The smile faded.  Grabbing a white denim jacket from the back of the padded bench, Corona popped upright and said, “Okay.  You sleep.  We will try this, again, later.  Goodnight.”

There was a micro-soft edge to her departing words which I did not like.  Adult content was not yet permitted, apparently, thus progress in the budding relationship had come to a standstill.  As if she had pulled my elbow off the table, my hand and face fell into one sloppy pile.  The rest of the opened deck scattered and rained upon the pale carpeting.  I had officially passed out as she slipped away.  When I recovered, the Jack of Hearts was sticking to my forehead.  I knew I was far from being a dating ace.  But, at that moment, I felt like all that I knew was worthless.  And, in the next few minutes, I was asleep, once more.

*****

Days dragged by without any contact.  I could hardly look at her calling card without biting my tongue.  I wanted more than I was given.  As usual, I spoiled a potential friendship and was denied.  If I pressed the matter, I might have felt worse when I heard her response (or lack thereof).

Then another thought crossed my mind.  Perhaps, my thoughts were not deserving of the full blame.  Perhaps, the Internet had a hand in this.  Maybe, timing was the problem.  That had to be it.  I was dead tired, and she was still sore from her recent or past relationship.  For all I knew, she might not have even read my mind and simply decided it was best I get some rest.

Daylight poured over me just as the phone rang.

“Can we meet another time?  Soon.”

I thought we might say “hi,” first.  “Well…sure!  I–”

“Okay.  Scheduling another date.  When should we meet?”

Not adept at scheduling, I hoped for more input on her part.

“Okay.  How about next week?” she impatiently inserted.  “You pick a day.”

[A day was picked.  We would meet, again, the following Friday.  Although, from the weather report I saw the following evening, the odds were not in our favor.]

~Writingbolt 9-21-2017

 

01
Nov
17

A Date with Corona #1


*****

Date #1:  The Unexpected

Technically, this was the first time we met.  I was trying out a new computer when she appeared beside my table of contents and said, “Hi.  I’m Cortana.  Can I help you with that?”  Her sweet, sultry voice pushed several of the right buttons, leaving one raised eyebrow which questioned her approach.  With just a few words, she seemed bold, shapely and intrusive yet more show than substance.

I took a moment to admire her boots.  They seemed functional but not too impressive.  I thought about shopping for new ones, taller, finer ones made of crumpled suede, but they were not available at the APP store.  And, I wasn’t in the mood to be a browser, nor a window explorer–er, shopper.

I may be a sucker for a pretty face, but, under the conditions, I could not see her face.  Unless, it was hidden by her halo, that eerie glowing ring that seemed to follow her wherever she went.  It pulsed with her words.  And, from the lack of response from those passing by, only I could see it.  I couldn’t accurately estimate her height, but her voice did not sound like it was coming from any angle.

What did she expect from me?  Did she think I was incapable of operating such a machine?  Did she know more than I?  Or, was she just here to play with me like a mouse?  Well, if she wanted to play games, I had news for her.  There were no cords on me…except for those tied to my heart drive.  And, if she was going to handle my hardware, I expected her to bring some fabric softener.

Surely, she was no angel.  At least, not the kind I pray to stay by my side.  A good angel wouldn’t tell me to hook up with a foreign network just to exchange some “stuff.”  She’d be specific and honest or, at least, sympathetic, compassionate.

This gal was tall on orders and short on details.  She didn’t have time to get heavy.  She just wanted everything “all right,” whatever that meant.  She could have been more demanding.  Instead, she seemed open to compromise, which isn’t always a good thing.  Any time I showed reluctance, she grew quiet or repeated herself with a hint of annoyance.  And, if I indulged her whim, I soon found myself in an uncomfortable position.

I like games in which I know all the rules.  But, this was not such a case.  Every move was a gamble.  And, any sure thing was not always as it seemed.

As darkness settled in, we found ourselves spending the evening together, going over every inch of the computer, its many features and possible upgrades.  The owners of the café we occupied gave us looks, wondering when we’d buy something or leave.  I had hoped to be home sooner, to be back in my comfort zone.  But, strange things happen when you linger outside the box.  And, this gal was definitely a bit strange, strangely animated and questionably personal.  I was as eager to get away as I was compelled to stay and learn more at a safe pace.  When I start answering and/or asking questions, there is no such safe pace.

I was just getting comfortable when she suddenly checked her invisible watch and decided to leave.  “Sorry.  I cannot connect right now.”

The tips of my fingers went cold as I watched her halo withdraw.  Then my eyes detected something new in my laptop.  She had left me with a loaded tray and more questions than answers.  This must have been the “stuff” I had in store for me when I decided to look her way.  On top was a note neatly typed on a calling card.

THANKS.
O- YOU KNOW WHERE TO FIND ME.  MICROPHONE.

[Where did she get a typewriter?  Why the wide “O-” when her name started with C and mine started with W?  And, what did “MICROPHONE” mean?]

Alone under a warm light, silence and darkness surrounded me like a thin blanket in an autumn breeze.  It wasn’t much of a date but felt like more than small talk.  Luckily, I didn’t order coffee.  It would have gone cold and spoiled the evening.  Not to mention, it would have been disastrous for the computer.

Yes.  I knew where to find her.  Or, did I?  Information at hand can be so deceptive when you lose your mind in the presence of another.

I looked forward to engaging her, again.  But, first, I wanted to do some research, to better understand her velvety layers, her…software.  When next we met, I would be wiser to her games.  And, I’d bring a few of my own.

She called herself Cortana, a coarse, awkward name.  I preferred to think of her as someone smoother with a name like Corona, like the halo that followed her.

~Writingbolt, 9-21-2017

09
Sep
17

The Match That’s Perpetually Out of Reach

***

What do you do when you meet someone who seems so right for you but is in no position to pair up with you?  How often must I meet women who are otherwise engaged with some other man and so…just seem so right as a fit?  It’s torture to even listen to them talk about their days when I can see myself sharing the sentiments but have no right to do more than nod and maybe comment.

Even here I see it.  I find people who could be so easy to relate with…but if I do anything, anything, it feels like I am some creep encroaching on another dimension.

Or, maybe, what I think I see isn’t as “perfect” as it appears and I have merely turned my attention to someone I have no business attending.  [Then, is it a cruel trick or some other divine lesson at hand?]

07
Sep
17

It has a name…a floater!…or is it?

***

So, I went for an eye exam.  And, I asked the doc about this spot that appears in my one eye when I blink under certain light conditions, usually when my focus is up close and in lower light, often at the computer or in the shower.  It can make straight lines look wobbly.  In a blink, it appears–well, it has changed shape in two years.  It started out as a speckled oval, then a jagged oval, then an oval with a frame, and, most recently, it looks like a small black moon in one corner of a white sun.  And, if I look in a mirror, I can periodically see a yellowish oval or gash at the top of the iris.

The doc said it’s a floater and that it could either work itself out (though he didn’t sound too confident about that) or multiply over time.  He said it’s often brought upon by trauma to the eye/body.  And, he said it shouldn’t be a concern; so get used to it.

[But, it concerns me because it can really get annoying and distort my vision.  As an artist and a perfectionist, it could really be unsettling to go on this way!  It messes with my eye color and could ruin my ability to appreciate the beauty of things I see or make accurate judgments.]

While he did give me an ounce of reassurance–and I want to stay optimistic–I just decided to see what I could find online about this.  But, most of the videos I find speak of floaters as those tiny specks or strings you see float by the eye when you move your eye out of focus.  I know those are likely harmless.  I thought those were worth concern when the doc asked me the last time if they were a problem.  He also mentioned seeing spots.  Well, now, I’d say there is a spot, but it’s not whizzing by my eye.

The doc also handed me a “fine” eye health report, saying I don’t even need glasses, for now.  Well, that’s great!…except.  There’s that thing in my eye that looks like a burn in a film strip sometimes when I blink and a yellow spot in the mirror.

As I poke around the web, I found something on CSR, central serious retinopathy.  And, while I am rather certain what I have is not at the back of the eye, the spot I see when I blink DOES seem to match the images I found, resembling a sort of pitted olive.

The best solutions I can find speak of either lens replacement, gel replacement/extraction or laser surgery.  And, the side effects could be more fatal than putting up with the distortion and seeing what happens.

So, what is it?  And, how do I deal with it?

I wrote about this some time ago.  But, I am still curious if anyone is familiar with such a distortion and any treatment they may have received/tried.

 




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