If you are seasick, go to the center of the ship and as close to the water line. Focus on a non-moving object in the distance and toward the front of the ship. If you are nauseous, drinking ginger might help if you don’t have pills. Drink water if you vomit.
If you get stung by a scorpion, put heat or cold on the bite. Go to the emergency room if you have tingling, difficulty breathing, and irregular heartbeat.
If you find yourself abducted by aliens, be cooperative and remain conscious by reciting phrases to yourself. Remember the details of your experience and when you come back to Earth, contact a friend about what has happened to you.
If you fall onto the subway tracks, don’t climb back out unless you have enough time. Stand up immediately and against the wall in between the columns. Remove anything that is loose on your body.
If a tornado is nearby, go to the basement, stairway, or bathroom. Stay away from windows and doors.
If there is a grill fire, turn off the burners and close the lid if possible. Put baking soda or sand onto the flames or use a fire extinguisher. If the propane tank is on fire, leave the area and call for help.
If you are trapped in a walk-in freezer, knock several times on the door to get someone’s attention. See if you can use the emergency release on the interior and turn off the cooling system. If no one shows up, lie down on cardboard and cover yourself with anything you can except frozen food.
If you need to perform a tracheotomy, find the Adam’s apple or thyroid cartilage. Move one inch down the neck and make the cut using a razor blade or knife between the two areas. Insert a tube into the opening and breathe two quick breaths.
If you have bedbugs in your room, strip your bed and take off the headboard. Check your drawers and vacuum. Make sure to set sticky trap around the bed.
If you need to take a quick nap at work, place your elbow on your desk and support your face with your hand. Pretend you are reading by keeping papers in front of you.
If you find yourself near a nuclear explosion, find a safe place of shelter and stay there for a week. Wash your body with soap and water to get off the radiation. If you need to eat wild animals, don’t eat close to the bones.
if you need to un-flip your kayak, lean toward the left side. Put your paddle parallel to the kayak and sweep it away. Move your head and torso as close to the surface as possible. Snap your hips to flip the kayak. Your head and torso will be touching the water’s surface. Bend your torso out of the water, whip your head from the water surface, and sit upright.
If you find yourself having a heart attack, chew and swallow aspirin and alert others you are having trouble. Calm your thoughts and increase your oxygen. Breath in through your nose and cough every three seconds. Don’t eat food or drink water.
I cleaned up my FB page. I removed quite a bit of stuff. Old pictures. Old things. Old videos. Old everything because I’m sort of starting fresh again. I started a new journal and using one of my older ones for creative ideas instead of keeping track of my calories. I’m using an app for that now although lately I haven’t been eating within my calories. I severely need to go back to the gym regularly although I did go a few times this week. As I was deleting, I saw these quotes I had put on there when I first went on FB. They all resonated with me in some way and here they are.
“To die is poignantly bitter, but the idea of having to die without having lived is unbearable.”
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
“The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude.”
“The greatest matters of nations cannot make us forget the modest matters of the heart.”
“If I waited till I felt like writing, I’d never write at all.”
“Attack life, it’s going to kill you anyways.”
“When we face pain in relationships our first response is often to sever bonds rather than to maintain commitment.”
“Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”
“What if I were to tell you that all the things you come to believe about yourself are a lie?”
“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.”
“When nine hundred years old you reach, look as good, you will not, hmmm?”
“My idea of feminism is self-determination, and it’s very open ended: every woman has the right to become herself, and do whatever she needs to do.”
“Above all, be the heroine in your life, not a victim.”
How funny I wrote this a while back. It was in 2021. I was going to include it into a short story or novella of some kind. I guess for now it will hang out as flash fiction. Enjoy.
Give a man a knife.
He’ll find a way to cut himself.
The marks too big.
The choices far away.
Fake smiles adorn the faces.
They retain their youthful chins.
Spit out useless information.
Give a woman an inch.
She’ll turn it into a mile.
The means of something.
All the lovely plans.
Great money to spend.
That is the way.
Return the favor.
I’ve been slowly getting back to writing and rewriting my second novel idea. I’m finding the joy again in the process of writing and seeing what happens when you sit down to write. I’ve been lazy and haven’t cleaned off my desk. Instead, I’ve been organizing my photos among other things. Therefore, I’ve been writing on my futon or floor with many cushions and back support. I suppose that is the writer in me. Do what makes you slightly uncomfortable over something that would make you more comfortable. A part of thinks I should just write my chapters and post them on my blog. It might save me from my own headache of wanting to revise and re-read what I have just written and instead continue on writing each chapter to get it done. I’ve decided not to do this because while I think there are advantages to this (gaining an audience), I would feel the pressure to perform, and it might just break me into a million pieces. Besides this story is going to be the most personal one I write. It is loosely based from my own life experiences. However, I have included the second chapter of my story. It will probably be the last one you see for a while. I hope to have this finished by the end of the year so I can publish it early next year.
Never thinking anyone would marry him, Kang Dae lived the first twenty-five years of his life revealing his seductive nature to strangers and his ominous nature to anyone who crossed his path. In addition to the influence of his parents and uncle from afar, his personality bore out of his vow to not have a strict adherence to Confucianist beliefs. He grew into his own skin and became comfortable letting his impulsivity be his guiding principle. His mouth said whatever words it wanted to say. It was easy for him to stand in front of a crowd, young or old or a combination of both, and keep them wanting more. He was fascinated, at first, by his ability to capture their attention so easily. His voice carried like no other. His tone was thunderous. His energy was contagious and enthusiastic. His speeches were memorable. He was persuasive and intimidating in the same breath. His voice became his primary method used to get what he wanted because there was nothing extraordinary about his appearance. His facial features had none of the qualities he desired. He was disgusted when he looked in a mirror. His mouth was too small. His eyes were even smaller. His left nostril was disproportionate to his right. The only feature on his face he had going for himself was his complexion. He never had to deal with acne as a child like some of the boys he knew growing up, but what he would not have given to be taller. He was shorter than the average Korean man and because of this, he felt the need to have to prove his worth even more. Kang Dae came to believe his only strength that made people want to follow him and what made him able to call them his brothers was his oratory skills. He would do anything for brothers and vice versa but in the same token, Kang Dae would not hesitate to destroy anyone who got in his way. Whether his authority was questioned by anyone, brother or not, it was a misstep regretted by all around him. As much as he found comfort in their solidarity, he cared more for their monetary profits. Financial loyalty mattered even more to him than their personal loyalty. In the early days, Kang Dae took in the extra benefits of operating a small-time fringe business of prostitution whenever he desired, but within short order, he found having sexual encounters with the prostitutes nothing but mindless sex. The whole act of sex became a nuisance to him although he encouraged his brothers to take part in this whenever they wanted. While he was sometimes teased for his intense money earning focus, no one crossed the line of insinuating he was incapable of performing in the bedroom. He was surprised when his second-in-command had the balls to suggest it might be time for him to find a wife. Kang Dae’s response was to call him by his nickname, Chimyeongjeog-in, and made it a point to slap his cheek in a lighthearted manner. Any other member would’ve found himself doubling over in pain. He went back to concentrating on the news of a rival gang moving closer to the northern border of their territory. “I’m not talking marriage.” “Send a couple of the guys and see what they hear at the border.” “Wouldn’t some companionship be nice?” “You’re a little slow today.” “My point’s valid, boss.” “Slapping your face wasn’t enough for you. Focus on how we get the Chu brothers from inching into our territory.” “Yong-sun’s red hair looks ridiculous. He takes his name a little too seriously. If you ask me, he’s harmless.” “Even so, he’s disregarding the informal agreement made between us. He’s leaving me no choice but to engage in a future attack.” “He’d be really stupid to carry through with this aggression. Despite what people think, I know you’re trying to avoid an all-out war. You don’t want to unnecessarily put your men to their death.” “Agreed but that’s what they’re there for too.” “It’s reckless.” “Tell me something I don’t already know.” Removing himself from the chair, Kang Dae looked Chimyeongjeog-in straight in the eyes and motioned with his hand for him to plead his case about the need of having a woman. He listened to all the reasons why a woman would be good for him. There had to be woman that would find him attractive despite his short height and average looking face. Her beauty did not only have to be in her physical appearance. She could be average like him, but not an ugly woman either. Later that night in the darkness of his bedroom, Kang Dae thought about the possibility of marriage and what it would be to share a bed with a woman. Now that he had enough money to live comfortably, it was better to be with a wife than a prostitute. She could bring him the happiness he deserved and secretly craved. Even more, she could give him children. He would belong to another sector of Korean society, one where he would not only be a rightful citizen but a family-oriented husband. This would increase his chances of being viewed as a worthy man. When he travelled to Seoul for business reasons, his trips became more frequent and longer. No one knew about Mi Cha until she accompanied him back to Pusan on one of his trips. The signs had been there from the beginning, but she chose to ignore them. He clearly had wanted a wife for two reasons: provide him a safeguard against the rumor that he was not interested in women and, give him children to quell the rumor he was weak. These rumors were all in his head. No one thought he was less of a man because he was single. No one questioned his manliness or his ability to be a father. That would come much later as it was obvious to both Mi Cha and Kang Dae that on their first night together as a married couple, they both had secrets never revealed until much later in their marriage. While his lies were much more grievous, she had convinced herself there was nothing she would not do to show her parents her autonomy, even if it meant marrying someone she knew was not suitable for her. Mi Cha felt the weight on her shoulders every day after she blossomed from a young girl into a young woman. She was now old enough to get married, and this newfound desire for independence had made her parents worried. They were certain any prospective bachelor would be turned off by this. They had not accounted for Kang Dae’s attraction to Mi Cha’s need for autonomy. On this particular morning she had not arranged her hair the way her mother preferred. Her hair remained untouched, hanging around her face, until she was far enough away from home. In a fleeting moment, she was reminded of her familial duty, and removed the barrette from her pocket, She pulled her hair back and closed the latch on the barrette. As she brought her arm down, she accidentally elbowed Kang Dae on the shoulder. “Hey, watch it,” he said. “Sorry.” Mi Cha double checked to see if her barrette was still intact. “I was trying to get my hair out of my face.” “Looks more like you thought you were the only one here.” “I’m so sorry. My apologies again.” “Quit apologizing. By the way, you look like the woman who expects everything without nothing in return.” Mi Cha looked confused. “It’s not polite to stare at someone without saying anything,” he said. “Yes, I know. I’m sorry.” “Quit saying you’re sorry.” “I didn’t mean to offend you. It’s just there aren’t many men I meet that are like yourself.” “Men like me?” “Older men.” “I can’t be that much older than you.” “I’m not even eighteen.” “Old enough to marry.” “I feel as if I should leave you alone. I’ve wasted enough of your time.” “Don’t take this the wrong way, but do you come from a family who wants you to marry up?” “Every father wants his daughter to be well cared for.” “I suppose. I mean nothing really has changed since the war.” “I was too young to remember it.” “Me too,” Kang Dae lied. “I don’t know why I mentioned that. I know I would be good for you though.” “I’m not understanding what you’re saying.” “Forget it.” “Please, tell me what you’re thinking.” “You don’t want to know.” “I do.” “I was thinking if your parents would allow you to see me, I’d be honored. I have a few more years on you, but those are solid years of experience.” “They’d be delighted.” “They haven’t met me yet. Don’t you need their approval?” “I do.” “My age doesn’t turn you away?” “My father is older than my mother. Besides, I think it’s better for a man to be older than the woman.” “Good.” “I was wondering if you might tell me your name.” “Dong-Min’s my name.” “My name is Mi Cha.” “That’s a pretty name.” “I’d much rather be called Choon-hee.” “Why?” “It’s my sister’s name. She’s my parents’ favorite. It sounds so much better than mine.” “Want me to whisk you away to Pusan?” Mi Cha covered her smile with her hand. “The offer’s good until tonight. I leave at seven.” “Thank you for the offer, but I can’t leave my family right now. Besides, I have other plans for today.” “It doesn’t need to be right away,” Kang Dae scribbled the hotel number he was staying at on a piece of paper. “Take this just in case.” Mi Cha took the piece of paper and looked at the numbers. He had nice handwriting. She wondered what else might be in store for her if they ever met again. She was young but not naïve. “I plan to come back soon. Maybe, we can officially set something up before I arrive.” “You don’t know where I live.” “I will if you give me your address.” Mi Cha did not want to give Kang Dae any personal information, but there was something nudging her to take a chance. She scribbled her address on a small notepad, ripped the sheet off, and handed it to him. She assured him it was not a fake address when he questioned whether it was real. He was too upfront for her taste, but there was enough allure that made up for it. She went back to her errands, not forgetting his name, and tucking the piece of paper he had given her into her purse. On her way home, she almost threw it into the trash. It would remain hidden in her drawer and forgotten about until Kang Dae returned a month later to Seoul. He had said he would find a way to notify her of his arrival beforehand. When he did not do this, she was disappointed but at the same token he had returned with an apology and was pleasant when meeting her parents. Mi Cha agreed to accompany him to dinner on his first night in Seoul with her parents’ blessing. They walked in silence for most of the way to the restaurant. It was an establishment that was not too pricy although Kang Dae could have afforded something more upscale. He had told Mi Cha he had to be careful about what was inside his wallet. It became clear to Mi Cha what being careful about his wallet meant. He had no problem spending his money on lagers but had limits on what she could buy for dinner. His beer and soju bottles were too many to count by the end of the night. In spite of his drinking, the food was delicious, and he had filled enough of their conversation with flirtatious behavior to keep her entertained. He had a mild arrogance she was not used to hearing. She gave him the benefit of being nervous on their first date. He was in a city not his own and had no doubt he had worked hard to pay for both their meals. By the time they left the restaurant, he had sobered up enough to walk in a straight line. He kissed her goodnight and made sure she was safely inside her home before leaving. He had offered again to take her to Pusan, but she turned him down politely. He had given her money to buy something nice for herself because he did not want her to think he was ungrateful. Mi Cha found it odd he could care so much for her upon meeting her, but in other ways was distant. It would take three more dates for her to find out his real name. When she asked him why he had lied to her, he told her because it would sting less if she had rejected him. It would take two more dates for him to kiss her passionately and tell her his age. Again, when she asked him the reason for not being upfront with him, he told her it made him feel less insecure. She had tried to lighten the mood by making a joke about it. He sat there, stone faced, and not the least bit interested in her attempt to make light of the situation. This should have been another clue Kang Dae was not the right man for Mi Cha. His alter ego of Dong-Min was not right for her either. While he displayed his best behavior in front of Mi Cha’s parents, letting them believe he was the right man for their daughter and that she would be well taken care of under his roof, his loving treatment of her did not last long. When she had their first child, a girl, he faulted her for having a daughter first instead of a son. Mi Cha forgave her husband’s behavior and by the time their son was born, the thrill of having a son had passed. He was disappointed he did not look like him and soon rejected his son. He barely held him and worse, he never called him by his birth name. Instead, he referred to him as a worthless baby as he referred to Mi Cha as a worthless carrier of children who looked like her. Everything about her bothered him now. She could do nothing right in his eyes. His wife no longer had a name. She did not even have a face. She was a nuisance. Her presence irritated him. Their marriage had all but disintegrated and he even wished Mi Cha would die from a tragic accident. After his wife gave birth alone to their fourth child, Kang Dae avoided his family and oftentimes slept at his friends’ homes. Over time the food allowance given to her dwindled. It bothered him little his wife and children were left without adequate food. On rare occasions when his guilt consumed him, he drank and smoked himself into the early hours of the morning, only to pass out and wake up in the afternoon. Her life’s purpose had become her children and to take care of them as best she could when her husband was absent, which was most of the time in the latter years. She had never asked for expensive gifts although he had more than enough to provide her with these things. The few gifts he gave her were not of any significant value and any meaningful affection stopped altogether by their second year of marriage. He no longer wanted to hold her hand in private or acknowledge they were married in public. On a difficult night when Mi Cha was getting ready for bed, Kang Dae returned home with a handful of his brothers. She never liked it when he invited them into their house especially when they were drunk. This was the moment she realized she had severely underestimated the capability of her husband’s disregard for her well-being. As she looked at him, pleading for help was useless. He was enjoying this and understood now what he meant when he told her punishment can come in many forms and at any time. The little feeling of safety she had from her husband was shattered when he allowed her to be violated in the bedroom they once shared. Mi Cha’s body jerked back and forth under her violator. The only thing she could do was pray the assault would end soon. Her husband had not given her enough credit for understanding the horrible nature under his facade. She was well aware that her silence would enrage him further. There was not a chance in hell she would scream for him, but Kang Dae knew how to drive the nail in further. She had missed her parents so much during the past year. There had been a few times after her second child was born that she thought about visiting them and brought it up over dinner. Each time, Kang Dae rejected her idea and told her under no circumstances should she be using his money to travel to Seoul. Long gone were the days when she giggled with her sister about something they had done together. She could not remember the last time she laughed from deep within her belly. There were no more excuses left to make for his behavior. She had a husband but one she did not want to spend the rest of her life with anymore.
It's lonely. Any place down there in the dungeon. Alone. It's never up there. There's no sky or mountains, not the wind or clouds. You've typed a word. The only word. Your mind moving. It's faster. Looking ahead but not fast enough. Thoughts. The story has already been written once.
You are not good enough to put into the right words.
I can’t take more time out of your day.
There are not enough minutes for you to sound right.
There is nothing here to read.
You have worn yourself out.
You have been rundown.
I am not in a weakened state.
I can remove myself from the spotlight.
You were never what people said.
She said she was twisting,
tossing and turning
her head about.
She used to be a country star.
No one would look at her otherwise.
She is shriveled up,
hunched over like a raisin,
committing posture suicide.
She thinks she is bogged down,
crushed like a little beetle.
Red is her favorite color.
She could have been thrusting,
thrashing and throwing
her hips out.
Everyone starred at her stylish nylons,
Her heels not too tall,
her little knees wobbly,
walking little steps on cobble stones.
The narrow streets,
where painters held brushes once.
Her exquisite body.
Her round belly.
She is tormented,
tightlipped and tortured,
she wants to be remembered.
She is not a sell-out,
captured by the media.
Her legacy doesn’t deserve one incident.
Her mind is what people want.
She is styling in her shiny nylons.
The Hammer family reminds me of another rich family in Hollywood called the Getty family although in different ways. The three episodes in this TV series weaves between present and past time. It begins with an introduction to Armie Hammer’s life and expands from there, speaking about the Hammer family secrets and scandals that were covered up. Armie Hammer’s ex-girlfriends, notably Courtney Vucekovich and Julia Morrison, weren’t the only ones subjected to the Hammer pain. It becomes very clear his aunt, Casey Hammer, suffered just as much by living in this family and in a way, Armie when he was a child. The second episode goes further in depth of Armie’s father and other patriarchs in the family including Armand Hammer, the oil tycoon. The last episode brings up again the topic of wealth, fame, and high society parties. All three episodes is clearly showing a battle between Armie Hammer and the women of the world that are uniting against him. It’s the “me too” movement against “male domination” in any location and field. Is he a little odd in his bedroom activity choices? Yes. Is he on the same level as Jared from Subway? Very far from it. What Armie Hammer has allegedly done, rape and assault, are two behaviors deserving of punishment. Whether he is forgiven by Hollywood and his once supporters is something I can’t and won’t predict. I’ll never look at him the same way now that I never will look at Mel Gibson or Liam Neeson in the same way again. Do I miss seeing him in movies? Sort of. I think these types of cases are more tragic than anything else. How long will he be made to pay for his transgressions? I’m not the one to say and that’s probably a good thing. Because family history is sometimes nothing as it seems, I’d recommend watching this because this is one of those families.
I rate House of Hammer THREE FINGERS at 75%