Did Ali Baba ever finish his book?

-watched Angels & Demons. Though boasting an excruciating 3 hours (which would have been far better as a television series), the film had one of the best and most satisfying endings of any film I've seen in a long time. Well done, Howard.
-re-downloading the Chaos Rings games to my iPad, as Square Enix decided to suddenly pull them from the App Store. Don't want to lose them from my purchase history until confirmation they won't be.
-I keep trying to watch Spartacus (I want to appreciate it, especially with the recent forays into myth with War of the Damned) but I can't get over the ridiculous amount of nonsensical sex, as well as the actor John Hannah (who starred as the bumbling character actor and laugh track for the Mummy movie franchise) who constantly has weird and demeaning sex with Lucy Lawless, over and over again. It's disconcerting.
-walked a lot yesterday, over 2 miles just getting from place to-place, that's not counting how far I walked when I finally got to the in-laws and then when we took a walk to Meilin's place to play with the kids (probably close to 3)
-finally got the chapter outline form down to 40 clean chapters, with a prologue and epilogue. Now just need to figure out how long it takes me to write 2000 words, and work on simplifying the process for satisfying writing sessions (and possibly one chapter per session if I'm lucky)

Morpheus take me now

-watched the Warcraft movie. Amazing film. Totally under-appreciated in almost every way.
-two presentations (only one more, on Tuesday)
-really, really tired and need to sleep
-did a whole lot more I can't remember.

The wide wide sea

-apparently Hutt used to be a Silentman, a band of self-styled vigilantes (not pirates, although who is to say) and when he came back from adventuring found out his family was deep into debt so he hung up his blade and took up the fishing pole. Can't see how that's more profitable, although perhaps more sustainable. Anyways, he wrote a letter for me for to take to a friend of his who might have a potion for Grimor, after I helped him with his catch for the day. Which apparently were guarded by a marauding band of half-men half-fish monsters from one of Dawnwatch's southern island chains. The local militia was also paying handsomely to drive them out and get rid of their leader. I'm still not sure what his merry band of very armed and trained warriors were trying to do so close to Crosswind, but he bought his hubris with his head, as local mercenaries hired by the Crosswind militia eagerly stood by and watched him brutally cut down. (Including myself? Why?) --got to level 8. (O&CII)
-three presentations today, including a lot of sad student faces as I turned them away for further revisions of their papers. Most admitted to me they thought I was kidding. This happens every year.
-came home and collapsed on the couch, but was too tired to actually rest. So I made a cup of milk coffee. ...yeah.
-tried to play Transistor on my iPhone. Finally got to the first save point after the game crashed four times. Fun game but I think I'm done with the crashing.
-started making notes about a Journey to the West game, and then got side-tracked into researching the connections between JTTW and the Ramayana, Sun Wukong and Hanuman, and somehow ended up reading summaries of both the Ramayana and the Epic of Gesar. Without actually realizing how... much time had passed by.
-tried watching the first episode of the new Roots show, but got bored. Is Kunta Kinte supposed to be some kind of hero? Because he kept failing every task set out for him. And why did the king want him as his personal warrior? Unclear.

Re-cap

-10 hours of straight teaching yesterday (plus 2 hours of commute), can barely move today (still need another 3 or 4 hours today)
-watched ponyo this morning. Every time I watch that film it creeps me out more.
-listened to the entire scene-by-scene recap of the Warcraft movie when I woke up, and I don't feel dirty at all
-need to get my brain working again in the next 20 minutes, au revoir sweet fog

Grimor is still poisoned

-finally sailed away from the polluted debacle and devastation at Cliffside and headed to Dawnwatch, where I helped an old pirate named Grimor get revenge for the murder of his captain by the hands of a bandit named Trakuro and the theft of a precious amulet. Grimor is still suffering from poison apparently and needs an antidote, but his friend Traythin says that their old friend Hutt might be able to lend a hand (Traythin refuses to help because his lover Aydras, brother to dear old Captain Hawthorne, blamed Grimor for her brother's death, and he doesn't want to make her mad). Oh, and also got from level 6 to level 7. (O&CII)
-two presentations in the morning, and then the final exam for my finance class (three hours). Came home and felt like every muscle was being pulled toward the earth. Bracing for tomorrow, my longest day yet (8 hours of presentations).
-managed to design the entire schedule and seating chart for the finance exam in one hour (after my second presentation and before my not-a-lunch-lunch consisting of cardboard wet noodles in salty water and dried something-others resembling the shape of garden vegetables, processed potatoes crisps dunked in msg and a bottle of water).
-watched Game of Thrones 6-7. Not terribly satisfied. Not much happened.
-downloaded all of Spartacus season 1. Will watch tomorrow. Possibly. Maybe. Probably not.
-researched some Star Wars before/during lunch. Apparently Jar Jar Binks is Snoke?... makes sense.
-downloaded and played five minutes of BlazBlue. Meh.

Colddrip grip

-7 team research presentations (proof cold drip is coffee vodka and 7 hours of lecturing is actually invigorating)
-one hour more on Aeon Avenger (currently 1:41), getting good
-mom went to the emergency room, Doctor wanted to slice open her colon but she went home instead, hope she is alright
-researched Gamer Entitlement, apparently it's a buzz word?
-looked up world size comparisons for MMOs, nobody seems to know anything straight, just fans fanning themselves
-got to level 32 of Alto's Adventure, utterly ridiculous the stunts they are pulling
-watched Oliver's newest on debt buyers

Crowcalling

-45 minutes of Aeon Avenger
-four teams (23 student final research presentations), came home exhausted
-The Great Mouse Detective
-First 25 minutes of the Sound of the Sea (before timed out)
-Added six poems to House of Flying Dumplings
-Downloaded inspirational novels to Kindle for PC
-Inventoried iOS purchases since January ($288 --too much!)
-Podcast: Invisibilia (Entanglement)
-Blizzard Watch post: mounts as endgame achievement
-Crow research
-Cleaned house in morning (tired as heck after)

Dreaming Eternal: In the Path of Righteousness

Raging Ocean

2


The morning rises. The morning sets. Calamity spins on its great wheel, that ball of fire in the east. I look towards the west, for the setting of darkness, and it does not come. Something else – an ancient pounding, a sluicing of my soul – and I fall, I fall into the abysmal dwelling of mystery. There is a shrill, a cackle, and it rips through reality. I incline my ears toward this new sound, and realize I cannot hear. I clench my fingers to prepare for the fight, but I cannot move. I race through time, searching out my life, my understanding, my knowledge of the golden tree, but it never comes to me. The gold is blurred against the sky – as if I were dreaming a painting underwater. I cannot even think. Suddenly, I have arrived before this strange altar.

The time has come, I repeat to myself, unsure my words, which feel like iron weights, bear any consequence. I am as insignificant as I ever was – I see clearly, I see the formations of the world spin in locomotion, the small smattering of people scatter across the earth, raising stone, dreaming of coyote-men, sleeping amongst secret glades and praying to dragons. I see this all now, these ideas and figments as repeated oscillations, turning in a universe that makes no sense, or in one sense, that cares not to explain itself. There is a ceiling above, invisible and thick, and for all the mysteries existence has to offer, it remains locked.

My philosophy dances with regret. This form approaches me, this light, and I feel the weight of a voice upon me. Its sound is majestic and mighty, molded out of sunlight and starfire. It enwraps me totally, grips my fibers, transforms the substance of my stuff into something glorious, beyond recognition, something fit to wear only the most royal of minds, a kind of being so transparent that every thought spilled fro me, as if I were a cup tipped, and the water of my thoughts fell like a river into eternity, into the bosom of the voice.

It is quiet; it is still. The clouds fade away, to an infinite velvet of luminescence; to fall to dreams is tempting, but impossible. The anticipation of contact is here, and yet still, nothing is seen, only the soft blanket of the impassible universe.

And then I know – the intelligence I have thirsted for, the imagination withheld, returns like a frozen wind, and I see the inevitable. The glory of the heavens open; the golden hue and crafted thrones sparkle like cut gemstones – the vast crowds herald to me, and strangely, I am left without words. My life is a quilt, and I am the hand holding the edge. I stare into the pictures, reliving each scene: I am a child by the river, cupping my hands beneath the clear surface. My mother calls from the bank – there is a wilt in her voice, and although I have lived this time far too numerous to count, I had never noticed this before. It’s as if her voice was crying without the sobs or tears. It was merely wilting, like a dead flower, stripped of color.

There was a slight breeze, a murmuring in the sky. I felt it through the tunnels of the trees that sat beside the river. A sadness swept over me, nefarious and grim, for the wilting of a beautiful flower was not beautiful. Even as, the flowers beneath my legs (as I was crouched beside the quiet river) fell to the green earth, petals splayed and shriveled, and the stems sagged weakly, kneeling into sprigs of grass.

I withdrew my hands, now soaked with glistening river water, and touched the dying flower.

My mother called still. She was calling for me, unmelodious, frightened, and I felt a quaking from my feet. I stood upon the green earth, my hands dripping with slime, and I felt my ribcage implode as realization starkly hit me.

My brother is dead.

That sweet boy, with his dark curls, his fleshly human soul, his small boy hands, his innocent eyes; he now sleeps in an unfathomable place, dreaming of eternal things, singing songs without names or tunes, while I remain, the sole heir to his philosophy, his companion and friend, his right arm. He has passed, vanishing and leaving only the cold bones and dry skin of his earthly body behind.

I was stunned, I remember, and so I said nothing. It was then my mother broke down, and her steady, wilted voice shattered, and she stopped calling me and put her face in her hands. She was having her own battles then, her own harmonies and artistry in chaos within her. But I was much too troubled to perceive. My mind kept going back to moments of peace when we would play on mountains, unsling imagination from its rook and run as dancing hussars through the wild world. But now, even that strange solitude becomes hushed – those moments of tranquility, of embraced love, are dropped like heavy stones, and the boom resounds in my silent and stony face.

That was how it remained – unforgiving, timeless. I wanted to beat water from the stone, but nothing came. I could not cry, I could not weep nor wail. I was frozen in that moment, and it was then when I realized I would never be the same. I lost touch with the world. That sacred connection, like when two people touch and feel a spring of eternity well up between them – that essence was no longer there. I was distanced, put aside, flung to the far reaches of mortality, made into a stoic observer of the pain and suffering of the human race.

My mind flashes forward. Rings of light invade my vision, and I shudder, falling to my knees in gasps of failing breath.

I am older now. The quilt has changed – this must be a new memory. Perhaps, then, I truly am dead, and this is what they mean when they say to relive your life after you die.

It is a cold, November day. The frost is out, the morning air chill without pardon. The trees have shaken their leaves to dust replaced by crystals and memories of life. The heavens, I notice as I look skywards, are pale, boring, white, a dull pastel slapped on by an invisible God. He must be sleeping, I remark to myself, to let such a world come to be.

My fingertips are cold through the gloves. I remember now – it is Saturday morning. I am supposed to see a friend today, and go on a trip with him. We are going to California, where it is said the hills are beaten from gold and there is a breeze of salt and spice in the air all year round.

He drives up to the sidewalk. I notice there is a bag, brown, leather, boxy, beside me. And so, we are off, driving into the wind, watching as our lives and youth are abandoned beneath the wheels of an old Dodge truck.

It is like being reborn. On the road, and you can dream new dreams, forget who you are, invent new personalities, and try on new hats. We are two vagabonds, two thieves, two wandering heroes in search of the mystical land of gold. We cross ice-storm mountains, swim through lightning plains, and imagine worlds being born over and over again in the flashing clouds.

We slip into the slipstream, and time seems a little closer to reality – tomorrow is closer, tomorrow is here and now, a plausible thing to be grasped with unfailing hands, linked in that sacred connection which ties men to each other, and that bond grew between us. I forgot my past.

But we cannot escape our past.

Dreaming Eternal: In the Path of Righteousness

Raging Ocean

I


I have no name.

Perhaps I have never had one. I have memories, yes, memories that call to me in the darkness. When I open my eyes, they are there. I wouldn’t use the word ‘haunting,’ though. I remember them, and they frighten me, the images. But I know them, like everything else, except for my name.

I spin in a formless, changing void. Life, or is it life? It moves so fast here. Shapes morphing through thousands of forms with every breath I take. Ideas transforming into nightmares transforming into episodes of sheer ecstasy, and then repeating themselves. I am moving somewhere, but where? Time doesn’t seem to exist here. Old men turn into babies, and young trees explode into grass.

Perhaps this is the very act of creation? I have no assurance of even that. Of how long I’ve been here, that is hard to say as well. I remember falling, falling from very high, very fast.

I remember a life of pain, of hate, of apathy. Sitting alone, in the dark, singing without singing, staring at the joy of others. There was a great indifference that dwelt within me, an uncaring about the world. And at the same time, my heart went out to all people, and most of those, who seemed cold beyond touch. I was useless, my hands bags of flesh, my heart thorns and stone. Even touching my own heart, I could not do it. I had been hardened into something untouchable.

And then I fell, and fell, and now I spin. This void is maddening and delightful at the same moment. It is like tasting ice cream and dirt in your mouth. All of everything is here in this soup.

Perhaps I am dead, or perhaps, perhaps; perhaps nothing.

There is a bright light. I close my eyes; I open my eyes – it makes no difference.

Change is happening. I do not understand it.

Dreaming Eternal: a serial

This will be the beginning of my first online serialisation of a novel. I hope it is becoming of something.

It is the story of a man who finds himself at the door of death, and his travels through a strange world.

I will try to update it every week, on Saturday. I'll put the first part up in a few minutes.