back to 0 (2 (4))
Baker Bloch Guy Benjamin woke up with the fuse. He looked around… groggily. End of Time, hmph. Where’s, er, Hucka D.? “Hucka Doobie,” he said aloud. “What the heck did we drin–“. But he stopped himself mid-sentence because no one was with him. He groaned, holding his head. He felt like a Sledgehammer hit it. Big Time. “Peter,” he spoke aloud again. “Something abou–” He scanned the room more closely. He clearly remembers a bell. Bell sound, yeah. It woke him up. The fuse…
(to be continued)
looking eagle-eyed into the future
Happy New Year! It’s been another good year for me personally. I got a lot of writing and art done. Work work is chugging along (only a little over 2 years until retirement! (projected)), and health is fine overall, for both me and the wife. So much to be done but a lot is being accomplished for my situation. Second Life still plays a big, big part in creativity.
Goals for 2020:
Well, I think the Collagesity photo-novels will keep popping out every 2 months or so with the generative system I’m using. 5 1/2 done this year alone (!). My plan is to keep doing these until I retire, then reassess the situation. I *did* have a rich creative life before they came along the winter of 2015-2016, a little over 4 years back, so I’m sure something interesting and rewarding will replace it. I don’t see hatching, you know, 70-75 of these things by the time I’m, say, 70-75, ha. Second Life appears to be dying, true. It seems to be withering. But, really, it still stands as a unique world in terms of player creativity and leverage. I can’t leave that behind yet. I have no plans for another virtual reality to replace it (unless it’s Google Earth!). As stated, I’m pretty happy with where I am and what’s happening creatively right now. I just have to keep working on establishing a proper balance between the several balls I’m juggling. And realizing the present situation won’t last forever.
Behind the scenes I’m writing as many or perhaps more notes on my photo-novels as I’m creating words for the photo-novels themselves. A good chunk of this is focused on what I call The Oracle, which involves maps — primarily of the US but extending a bit to foreign lands now. These are *not* to be seen by the general public, and contain a lot of typos, etc. That said, I would like some day soon to collect my vast notes on The Oracle, dating back over 30 years now, and create a type of book out of them — solidify, somehow, my flow within it. I don’t see my involvement with The Oracle ever ending in this life. It is my bedrock in many ways. Just so you, the loyal or casual reader, know. I’m hoping that will happen in the next 5 years. I don’t see it as a fixed endpoint, though. Further versions could and probably should emerge, granted that I live long enough.
I’d also like to return to audio-visual synching from a somewhat different angle — technologically and philosophically — soon enough. The structure of “modern” a/v synchs is not dissimilar to that of the photo-novels. Just another fyi.
And also, I assume, *collages* will continue. Series of collages. That might pick up again when the photo-novels are over.
I accomplished a lot of outdoor (real life) stuff this year as well, mainly: local hiking. For instance, these past 2 weeks in the mountains where we live I’ve been trekking various places, trails and off-trails, almost every clear day, which have been abundant. I always seem to be finding something new. We’ve had a good number of days off from work over the holidays. I *love* this balance of writing notes and doing research in the morning, hiking in the afternoon, relaxing in the evening (tv, reading, etc.) and then working on the photo-novels in the middle of the night. And fitting sleep in there somewhere!
I find the relationship and interaction between Second Life photos and generated fiction to be fascinating — one informs the other. I’m not sure I can ever return to pure prose in the sense of it being unattached from art (photos in this case). It’s a bit like theater for me as well. I, however, do not see the photo-novel photos as art in and of themselves. That is the province of others.
But, again with that said, I want to, sometime in the future, shift the focus back from virtual photography to real photography, as I have done in the past. I’d say my involvement with real life photos and attached *toy happenings* peaked around 2012-2013, as recorded in my blogs. I have firm plans to return to these linked activities.
What else? I lost my father-in-law this year. He was a good egg, and I have no doubt that he is succeeding on and adjusting well to the next plane. Our remaining living parent between the two of us, my mom, is almost *99* and is now living in a facility. She’s toughing it out; she’s a trooper!
We now have 3 cats with the addition of baby Philip in May, a strange guy indeed, so cute and so sweet and intelligent but also with a definite wild streak involved, much more so that the other two cats. But they both love him now. And of course we adore them all. I still have yet to meet a cat I didn’t get along with.
That’s it! Hope your new year brings you much happiness and joy.
Man About Time
“Hi. Mind if I take your place?”
“It’s *glorious* in here, Col. Bucket.” She splashes some water in happiness. “Come on in!”
“I — can’t get — this *bucket* off,” the smaller person in the 90 room complains, yanking with all her might.
“Oh come in anyway. It’ll get a little soggy — so what? It’ll fall off naturally then.” Blue Feather was adamant. Col. Bucket must join her!
“You don’t understand, Blue Feather. That *is* your name? Right?”
“Yeees. You know my name, Col. We’re related.”
“We are?” Her voice was muffled by the bucket, but still strong and youthful. They were indeed related. “How?”
“You are my cousin.”
“Hmm,” Col. instantly responded, not surprised. “I think everyone is everyone else’s cousin to some degree — I — I — read that.” She remembers her primary task and begins yanking again. The bucket must come off! She must see straight once more!
“Here.” Blue Feather rises out of the water, but becomes instantly dry. She goes over, and in another instant, removes the bucket easily from the Col.’s head.
But, trouble is, the Col. disappears with the action. We’ll see her again soon, though.
Blue Feather cusses, complaining that she’s lost another one.
She leans down and begins to fill up the bucket again.
X City’s Blurmaid and Horns of Hatton’s Cry Cat (65 & 66).
These are the capital cities of Maebaelia/Satori’s North and South respectively. And here they are again. Attempting to negotiate?
Grandpa (Herbert) Gold was introduced to the ringleader but didn’t know quite what to make of it (!).
“Other Other?” he ventured.
There was some kind of acknowledgement from the contraption, so Herbert went further.
“What is Cat pole star?”
There was a mysterious exchange. Then Herbert asked, “Do you know who I am?”
The avatar who seems to be Other Other didn’t know who I was.
More exchanges. He (or she) indicated that he (she) wanted to improve the sim by depicting reality more accurately.
I went for broke and gave him/her the link to my Sunklands site. Herbert Gold looked over while chatting, and couldn’t help but think he’s staring into the face of God.
There was a couple of exchanges about the 100 story building. I enthusiastically commended him/her on the project. He/she expressed hope that a planned, second 100 story building would be as successful.
I was translating both Japanese and Chinese at once. The contraption pulsed behind me but not in a menacing way. Herbert Gold’s head bounced with its.
Although wishing further contact, I had to excuse myself by saying my translator was out of date. Will we meet again? Could be.
“Does my hair look all right this morning, Herbert?”
“It looks fine, April Mae.”
“Hmph.” She takes a noisy slurp of her tea, then winces. “Next time, dear, set the microwave on about *60 seconds* for the pot, not 40. Lukewarm tea is the worst!” Another slurp, another wince. “Oh dear.” She scoots the twice drunk cup toward Herbert. He knows what has to be done.
“Tastes all right to me,” he shot back, irritated that she *always* knows, within a few seconds, exactly how long he’s heated any item of food or drink up. Next time he’ll try to get away with 45, but he knows he there’s no way he can pull it off. He’s always testing his limits around wife April Mae. And failing.
After putting all the tea back in the pot and reheating the thing, he returns to the table. His mouth might scald a bit but he’s use to it. Better living with that than the alternative. She tests again.
(SLURP) “Yes, much better, Herbert. Thank you. Now… tell me about that dream you had last night. The one where (SLURP) you met a maker.”
He turns away from her on the bed while she is talking, much to her relief. She’s tired of looking at the thing. He claims their sex is hot, hot, hot, but to her it’s always lukewarm! And he’s not tea so no reheating; one and done. “Santa,” she calls back toward him.
“Satan, please,” he requests, his voice booming even when projecting the wrong way. “Santa’s a last name.”
“Oh, right.” April Mae knew full well what his name was. He had to use the most obvious anagram possible. Might as well stick 2 horns on his head and prod expectant children with a forked candy cane or something. “He knows about you,” she then offers.
“I’m *not* the maker.”
“He knows that too.”
“I am Satan!” His tone was more defiant that ever.
“You are the Red Devil, true,” she agreed. Where did all the legends get that hot fire and brimstone stuff? she wonders again. Falsities!
“Be a dear and bring me the book, April Mae. The one where I’m a star — I need it to get to sleep.”
Well, she certainly wants him to get to sleep. So she can sneak out again. Tommy Pajamy over in cabin B might be willing later tonight. She’s been prepping him for weeks, bending too far over while shoveling the sidewalks, climbing too high with her dress on a ladder to prune the snow laden trees. She knows he watches. She has eyes in the back of her head.
She retrieves the book from the shelf and then hands it to Satan Santa, not looking down. It’s a 1989 mystery novel involving a cooperative venture between the US (US) and USSR (THEM) that gets screwed up because a woman’s death is broadcast on the net. Then it turns up on a VHS tape that lands in the wrong hands. The woman is named Kat. Eartha Kit Kat Moon. And I believe she’s Chinese. Or Japanese. And she may not be a woman either.
(to be continued?)
She was back in Collagesity. Husband Karoz Blogger may or may not follow. She’d heard of Wheeler’s marriage to Axis and had to return. She had one last pitch: a wrestling confederation. Headed by Wheeler.
Marriages don’t have to last forever.
“It’s a good place, Wheeler. A strong place,” Baker Blinker spoke about the Gloomy Gus structure, her original home in Collagesity, recently moved to the Peninsula residential area of town.
“I *do* like the hair. Thanks so much.”
“Sorry it’s so late.” She gazes at the remaining visible eye through the doo and wonders if it’s Arkansas or Missouri. Only one way to find out. “Marry me, Wheeler. Divorce Axis. I’ll divorce Karoz. Together we’ll be *Beans*.”
Wheeler paused. We’ve been here before, but with the shoe on the other foot. “You better get back to Chilbo,” Wheeler replied non-committally. “Karoz will be needing his supper soon. Still eating rice all the time?”
“Quinoa now,” explained Baker Blinker with a laugh. “Less filling.” She rubbed her belly here. Wheeler liked the look of it. Axis was a marriage of convenience. They could remain friends, after all.
“I’ll — think about it,” she finalized for now. “You better go. Oh… let me see yours.”
Baker Blinker showed her the new hair she bought for herself as well. Magika Bean she could be soon. With Flip as her partner at both home and work.
“The study would be right in there,” Baker Blinker tempts. “Just like before.”
“I was in a virtual reality, Grandmama, Grandpapa. Two wrestlers had just made an alliance. One had to manage the other. That one had been replaced by the other in the far past.”
“Virtual reality, huh,” groused Grandmama. “Is *that* why it took you so long to find us?”
“*Finally*,” reinforced Grandpapa to her side.
“Then I found a store selling progressive rock t-shirts, but, get this, they were *cartoon* versions.” Guy shows his Grandmamapapa one of the t-shirts, with a parody of Genesis’ classic ‘Nursery Cryme’ album cover on the front. “Pretty cool, huh? They had *2* Genesis t-shirts, one for this and then for ‘Foxtrot’. You know, the one with ‘Supper’s—”
“No ‘Lamb’?” interrupts Grandpapa, staring at the thing. Among early Genesis efforts with front man Peter Gabriel, it’s the only one that interests him personally. He likes the story. The music is glossier and fuller. He says so, and adds, “just like Grandmama here.” Here reaches across the table and pinches her fleshy side.
“Stop it, Jack,” she complains, swatting his flirting hand away but at the same time taking the “complement” in stride. “We’re *suppose* to be angry with *Guy* here. 15 weeks since the last visit? Too long young man.”
“I’m trying to tell you that I can’t *find* your place that easy in all these twisty-turny alleys. And there’s so many distractions.” He indicates the shirt he’s wearing again. “Look,” he decides to display. “Here’s the other one.”
“Well sit down, Guy and I’ll put some more tea on.” Grandpapa attempts a joke about Guy putting on another t-shirt and Grandmama putting on another tea which fails in mid-effort. He clears his throat and then drives home his point about “Lamb”. “‘Lamb’ is *real*, not fantasy. *Not* virtual reality. It’s the gritty streets of NYC that we found anti-hero Rael spray painting his name on.
“Subways,” Guy corrects. “The album says subways.”
“Yes, of course.” Guy knew his Genesis. He respected “Lamb” too. He just digs early Genesis in general. The only album he really likes by them post-Gabriel is “Duke”. He laments the fact that the t-shirt fat pack didn’t include that album cover. Nor “Lamb”, but “Lamb” was probably simply harder to do, since no singular focus on the cover. Probably hard to create a cartoon image of Rael. Maybe that adds to Grandpapa’s point, he then ponders. Rael is too *real* to turn into an animation.
(to be continued?)
We watch him from beyond the wall. He was on a journey. Lamb was taking him somewhere. Along the way he picked up two traveling companions who might have been figments of his imagination. Probably were. “Who are you?” he decides to ask despite this when they first came alongside him. “Space,” announced the larger being with black jacket and matching black pants. “Star,” came the piping voice of the smaller, blue hooded one. Both some kind of cartoon cats, assumed Guy, looking them over from the side. All traveling through the heavens on Lamb toward — something. How long before arrival?
Along the way, Space fleshed out a backstory of how, many *many* years ago, he spilled ink from a bucket or can, while Star had spilled milk from a smaller container. Together, hand in hand, this created our galaxy, he claimed. “That’s why Milky Way is here with its neon coat of white,” Star furthered, obviously reveling in the mixture. “We are travelers of the Lamb dimension now.”
Facing forward, the cats were suddenly gone. He was alone in his journey to what he now understood was the Answer to Everything, with only a looming, translucent wall between him and it….
SLAM! Guy Benjamin woke up. He excitedly relayed the details of his dream to fellow “Lamb” fan Grandpapa the next morning.
“*Rebl*? What happened to your *eye*??”
Shark? What shark?”
Flash bulb? Blinding? *Disappeared*?”
“Go ahead,” she urged. “Find out where it leads. It won’t hurt you. Like it did me.”
“Somewhere in this Edwardston Station Gallery, my love, my *future* love, is a clue to the whereabouts of my missing eye. I can feel it. So close.” But still they walk right by.
“It’s time to take one of you observing 88’s to the room to see what went missing. Maybe both of you. Yeah: both.”
“First, a little wine before we start. Sorry you can’t have any, guys.” (sip)
“Guys? Can you hear me?”
“I’m going to make you partially transparent so don’t panic.”
“Okay, here’s the problem. Or deal. *I* sit on the black stool that represents the 8 ball. 88 01 (let’s say), you are on the orange “2” stool and 88 02 (we’ll say), you’re perched on the yellow “3”. Wheeler then considered something else. “Stool, huh.” She then took a remote picture before returning to the 87 Room.
“Alright, so between you is an XVideos labelled laptop that, to me, obviously is suppose to represent “x” as in *times* something. But 3 *times* 2 (she points to the 3 associated objects in turn) equals 6. Added to my 8 (stool) you get 86. But this is (Room) 87.
If you consider the X might be a cross (+) it goes even one further from the truth, since 80 (points to herself) plus 3 (points to 88 01) plus 2 (points to 88 02) equals 85. Now the XVideos laptop sits on a stool representing the 1 ball in pool, the blue one. To me, this *must* represent Blue Eye, the missing one in either Arkansas or Missouri. So here’s the solution, people. I’m 80, you guys are 3 *times* 2 or 6, and then the stool, the one, when added in at last — *not* multiplied — brings us to the needed 87. You have to count the missing one hidden by the X to make sense of it all.
“So what’s the problem?” I asked just beyond the wall.
The Fish goes its separate way from the Head. Like seeks like.
Although the rain still pelts down, he is above the fray now.
Unlike the Bird perched down below, the Fish doesn’t revolve. Take that as you will. Just an fyi.
The bar directly below the Bird seems vacated. Is this a dying city?
It’s a rival bar to (grounded) Fish Head’s just down the alley. Did Fish Head cause the closure? Is his known confidant, the Heart Queen, also responsible?
One way to find out.
“Did you cause the closure of the Bird’s bar?”
“I mean maybe.
But something still doesn’t add up. Or multiply. We have another on the rooftops quite near the Bird — staring at it even — leaf umbrella in hand shielding his *head*, if not necessarily the rest of his body, from the localized rain surrounding the whale directly above him.
He has a different tattoo on it than Fish Head, but, otherwise, the same body it seems. A bird instead? Dry instead of wet?
And, to be specific, the rotating Bird he’s peering toward only has the head of such. The (white) body is instead that of a female human, outstretched arms sort of giving the appearance of wings.
If only I could translate the native languages better inworld, Chinese and Japanese. Because both are used here.
Maybe a trick to understanding all this is start seeing through walls. For example, we find a mysterious *hole* using this method directly below Fish Head’s bar on the ground level.
Where does this lead us?
Underwater, it turns out. A more realistic abode for, let’s say, a fish.
“There,” Wheeler declared. “Down at the bottom.” She bends down. “A blue eye!”
“Your… *missing* eye?” Baker Blinker asks, staring down as well at the grassy being with one blue eye, the left one (to it).
“Yes. We must observe this closely.” She stands back, taking in the whole work.
Newton Collage 09, (in)formally “TILE Waterfall”. She sees this through the checked description. “TILE,” she then utters. “Does *Karoz* know about this one?”
“We better ask,” Wheeler stated, not letting Baker Blinker finish. She could tell her new partner didn’t know. But Karoz was the last person Baker Blinker wanted to talk to right now. Not after what she had just done.
We may also note that this is the 49th collage of the 100 piece “Art 10 x 10” housed in the Collagesity cubic skybox called the Edwardston Station Gallery that Wheeler Wilson and Baker Blinker are presently combing through for clues. The 49th room of Kowloon’s 100 Story Building similarly contains a “spilled” black liquid combined with bright white. We’ve already seen it here: the dream cat called Space spills black ink while diminutive feline companion Star seems to spill a contrasting white milk and then revel in the mixture. We don’t have a white *spill* here, yet white *absorption* through a synthetic, ultralight porous material called areogel. The blue eye *eyes* the areogel, knowing what it actually stands for.
This is black and white combined again.