Maybe I need to think about Blue Berry Girl more, since she perhaps has become more central. She’s not Blurmaid as I anticipated in this half shell at the X shaped crossroads in the heart of the Maebaleia/Satori continent, but maybe her story is more crucial. What do we know of her so far?
This is as good a time as any to create a kind of year in review post, short in nature. The virus is of course the big news in 2020, and everyone has been impacted to one large degree or another, including us. But we’ve also been more fortunate than most. We haven’t lost our jobs (knock on wooden head), we remain healthy (again with the knocks on the head), and, despite both working from home in the main, the wife and I are getting along swimmingly. I can’t imagine a couple being locked indoors together this winter that doesn’t like each other. Lots of divorces will come out of this. Loss of jobs, splitting up of families. What happened in 2020 will be impacting us for years to come.
That’s why it’s so urgent for Joe Biden and his administration to push legislation and acts through as quickly as possible to bring relief Americans so desperately need. Bring us affordable health care and education; reform the prison system and military-industrial complex. Enact *now*, as soon as possible, sweeping climate change mandates that will help us save the planet (we should be leaders on this!) and stop further catastrophes to heap on top of the ones we already face from other directions as a nation. I remain optimistic but also realistic, given the history of the Democratic party up to this point and the sheer lunacy, right now, within their counterparts, the Republicans, who remain an actual political party only in name, unable to help anyone but the rich and powerful who don’t need it. Trickle down economics is a myth by this time.
I know steps are being taken. I’m just not sure they’re enough. All great nations have their turn, then fall back and yield to others on the rise. I think this virus is exposing who we really are. We cannot be the leaders in the future with the present systems in place. We can’t just return to the “normal” of the Obama years. We’re falling behind.
OKAY, getting back to the blog and my safe zone (yea!), I’ve had a really good year there, along with lots of local hiking. I’m extremely blessed to be living in the community we do, with oodles of beautiful, protected park land very close by. This is something I’d also like to focus on this year, and years to come. Return to real life photos and art, and a bit more away from virtual stuff and My Second Lyfe. A bit — because both will continue in tandem with each other for some time.
A room with no door (Shop 10, Kowloon):
“Come in, Fern Stallin.”
“Yeah, I’m not Fern Stalin.”
“Ohh, but you *aare*.” Pause.
“Cornfield,” the Old Man in a Narrow Room interrupted crisply. “I’m sensing… Corrnfield, yess.” The place had lightened up.
Blue Berry Girl, 1/2way back to Rules of Rose by this point, looked around without questioning more. She vaguely recalls twins named Cornfield, born in, yes, Valentine. A place called Valentine.
“Listen, um, Old Man. It was nice visiting you but I have other places to go tonight.”
“Youuu… will *returrnnn*.”
Walking the RR in the Inbetween World. Watch out from behind!
“Yoouuu… havve *returrrnned*.”
“Dum de *dum* de *dum*.” Riiiiinnnng. “Oh dear.” Riiiiiiiinnnng. “That’s the phone.”
“Over… *there*.” Riiinnng.
“Over where, honey?”
“On the wall.” Riiinnnng. “Just over… *there*.”
“The wall… the phone on the wall?”
Riiinnnng. “Yes. Don’t you remember. The phone… on the wall.”
“The *pay phone*? The one that hadn’t worked for 20 years?” Rinnnnng.
“Yes. I think. Go check. I’m scared. I’ll be back in my room.” Riinnng.
She was so happy just seconds before. Now the world seemed to be ending.
Riinnnng. Herbert Glenn Gold walks over, answers the phone. Riinnnn– “Hello?”
“You have become old, Stefan.”
“No… not old. I can still rock.”
“You are a classical man through and through now. Get up out of the rocker. You cannot rock any longer. You are an old man. You…”
“Pansy,” he said, trying to reassure. “I acquiesce.” Old Stefan steps away from the DJ equipment and the dance floor as a whole, walks outside, stands in the flower bed.
Four Corners 02
He knew exactly where to look. He heads across the road toward the hills.
He pauses to roll two dice at Gigi’s place, red and white. “Twins,” he exclaims, seeing the result. “Good. I’m on the right track.” Certain Death can be avoided tonight.
He moves forward…
A wise sparrow looks down from a tree behind him. He stands in flowers again, pansies. This is where it will happen. He waits. He, again, knows Certain Death is not stalking him. This is the day, this is the portal. He waits. The sparrow knows too.
His head begins to vibrate rapidly. It has begun.
Herbert Gold brings April Mae flowers.
“What assets can *you* bring to me, Mr. Baker Bloch.” I wish Stefan [last name yet to be determine] had a German accent but it would be too hard to write. He was applying for an apartment in the Kidd Tower in Apple’s Orchard, a prospective neighbor, then, to the Man About Time who’d be living directly above him in the penthouse suite. This here was Mr. Babyface’s old apartment. Mr. Babyface had decided to move away from the city to carve out a bucolic life for himself in the land of Hana Lei, wherever the f-ck that was. Maybe Rose Heaven.
“Well,” Baker Bloch began his answer. “You’ll become an automatic member of the exclusive Blue Feather Club, with 10 percent discount on all items at any of the Baker Bloch owned businesses in town. That would include, let’s see, the consignment store down in Black Ice, the Red Umbrella (gallery) in same, the Rosehaven Yarn Shop — that would be selling story yarns and not yarn yarns mind you.”
“Shoot,” Stefan mildly cussed here. He was a natural born knitter, weaving and bobbing the needles to whittle away the dreary nights. But he could live with this handicap. Still full price for the yarn yarn. Baker Bloch continued without a beat.
“Then The Cones — that’s the all you can eat buffet style restaurant atop the Blue Feather, part of the overall Sunklands Institute complex. That would be, er, right down there or over there.” Baker Bloch pointed out the transparent wall to his left toward said complex. You can clearly make out the towers at the top from his perspective. Stefan had none of this. He remained undecided whether to move to NWES City, despite what Baker considered his pretty pitch, like a lob thrown to a junior leaguer who could then hit it out of the park on any given day. This was a given. It was up to Stefan to throw away the chance, make a clear error of judgement. Baker held all the aces, he felt.
“I know Pansy Mouse,” Stefan stated out of left field, a game changer. Baker’s plans suddenly flew up in the air like a pack of misshuffled cards.
“I was younger back then, still a rocker, still a moder. Cleveland had nothing on me.”
“Drew ‘Grumpy’ Cleveland?” Baker Bloch questioned, still shocked at the revelation. He hardly had breath to ask.
“Yes,” Stefan [last name still to be determined] admitted, thinking back to the lake, the peninsula. So calming after the pansies. He knew who he was… for the very first time. Then a Brendan appeared on a nearby peak and it began in earnest. He understood that this was not a bucolic paradise, and that paradise was a long way off indeed, like his sister knew before him. Brother too.
“Soooo…” Baker caught his breath again. “That’s when you began (inhale) to know… about Pansy…”
“Mouse,” Stefan completed for Baker Bloch. He held all the cards now, was playing with a full set of dice. Die — Certain Death. Red equals white. Alice in Wonderland would be proud. He let the word hang in the air again, like a kite cut loose from its tether, adrift in a sea of nothingness.
lost in the sea that is the sky
He was a blank, ready to be written upon. Some called him Jonny already. He stared out past the Bellisaria Blues Bar toward the sea, the houseboats. He was looking for a… kite? His mind went blank again. He was a blank. Jonny he was called by some. He stares past the blues bar toward the sea, the sky, the… what was it? A ship. A boat or maybe… space?
I decided it should be a 200 meter long tether of red, knotted up like a rock hard ball of yarn left of center. This is the Jonny part.
Alice Farrowheart was inconsolable. My poor poor Toddles, she lamented to anyone around at the time, the police for now.
“There there, now now,” the squad all attempted to calm. “Toddles is still in town. The tracker implanted in her neck like everyone’s neck tells us so (!).”
“But *where*?” she exclaims back.
“The tracker says Apple’s Orchard. Wait.” Officer Robert Petrie Dish checked Master Radar again. “Heading to Neptune now… yes, she’s in Neptune. She’s… making a turn left. Looks like she’s going to Black Ice.”
“You’ve checked *everywhere*. She’s *physically* NOT in the city!” Alice Farrowheart couldn’t help herself. She had to yell to get the feelings out. Where — was — TODDLES??
The officers and gentlemen around her knew there was one other place she could be hiding but were too scared to raise the possibility. They knew Collagesity was more or less fully integrated into NWES City — and Collagesity contained collages and now NWES City does too. Precious precocious child Toodles could have gone to the Inside World, perhaps, gasp (they collectively did when they thought of this), Picturetown? Inside the pictures that were collages? The squad thinks again about how unwise it was for town to decide to stay “city” and live with all the other lesser and inferior cities intruding in and around it, like unwanted pregnancies and resulting ragamuffin children. They should have been cast off with the name. Now look what happens. Actual children disappearing. She could be anywhere now, even — gasp (again) — Canada.
The Land of Blue and Purple (final?)
In teleporting around Thornwood tonight, I realized that the foxes Muff and Birmingham, last seen in a NWES City wishing store, were getting along better, which means everything was more in balance in Our Second Lyfe and beyond.
The Diagonal was okay now, but I had no place there. Or did I? No, no, if I open up that can of worms, then karma will come into play again and I’ll have to dig deeper into Rose Heaven history — make it up, in essence, which I’m not sure if the locals, as a whole, would enjoy. The Mist represents a barrier. I have to have cooperation to continue. And I’ve decided the cooperation should come to me instead of visa versa. It’s something I’ve learned. Don’t draw attention to yourself.
a way out?
Charlene Brown the Punk and Jeffrie Phillips sit in the car again in the center of Harbourtown, the twin city of NWES. “Rose Heaven seems to have closed up for us, dearest,” she spoke to him. “Gaston too.”
“Don’t go there?” asked Jeffrie Phillips again, to which she responded in the negative. “Too many ghosts,” she added, looking over at the Happy Travels Travel Agency, Harbourtown Branch, with its 3 featured portals.
“Karma,” he elaborated, or perhaps just added onto what Charlene said.
“We still have Guy. In the temple over there. Shall we go worship?”
Where a door closes a hole opens. Guy had protected one he knew was important, thus preserving the past as well. The past to the future. UNEXPLAINED ANOMALY.
Wonky like Willa
‘Hey Hank. (pause). Can I crash in here again?”
(longer pause) “No.” Plain and blunt. He can’t crash in here again. Bad for the customers, Hank feels. Friday night: he stays open until 3 at the morning. He says this aloud.
“But… I’m Elvis Kannelvis. World famous dare-demon. I’d be a novelty item. Promote me, promote my jump into that gall darn hole the comet or whatever made.”
“No comet.” Hank was sure it wasn’t a comet.
“I’d sleep and people would come to marvel and perhaps lay coins on my eyes to pay for my passage to Valhalla.” He closes his eyes, imagining the tribute. For Elvis Kannelvis would surely die when he jumps, everyone will say.
“You will not die.” Hank: succinct again. He knew Elvis Kannelvis would not die jumping in the hole. He knew something else that most people didn’t. The hole has a certain depth, a certain width. He would not go far into it… unless…
“Unless…” he says out loud. He looks over at Elvis Kannelvis starting to stretch his pudgy, off-white garbed body across the vanilla white couch, like he’s settling in for the night, which Hank said he couldn’t. His eyes are still closed.
“Go ahead,” urged Elvis. “Say it.” He waits for the coins.
He’d been running past the Urban Ice Cream parlor for several days on his route around the Active Urban Mall. Urban again, he thought the first day. But not attached to Active. What gives? But he kept going, not tempted by the ice cream this time. He had to get fit to fit into the hole. Valhalla awaits! But not the way most people think. He had a cunning plan.
The second day he slowed down a bit while passing, but still didn’t stop. The third: temptation finally got the best of the sweets loving dare-demon, most famous for jumping Lizard Gulch out in the Oregon back country. Before now.
What a break! The door unlocked, the owner away. “5 o’clock,” he says, checking his watch and the width and depth of his procured bowl and spoon. Must have left early, he ascertains wrongly.
High on illegally gorged sugar he lay down on the same vanilla colored couch he does now, awaiting the coins, the adulation, the *worshipping*. For Elvis had designs on being some kind of God, a medium major or perhaps a high major one. Up there with Mahatma Gandhi and Albert Einstein to be sure. Trouble is, he’d gained back all the calories in his three hours of gorging from the three days of exercise before. And now Hank, who discovered him still conked out the next day when opening up, says he can’t stay another night, despite the promise of a big payment later after the event is over. He has no way to lock up the ice cream. But now he seems to have changed his mind. “Yes,” he says to the prostrate wannabe super-hero, buttons almost popping from stomach heaves. “You can stay.”
He has a certain special ice cream he’s tucked away back in the freezer for this very kind of moment.
“Arrr. *There* be my three cornered hat. Thank yee for keeping it for me, Saucy Wanda.”
“Wendy,” she replied, use to the bastard pirates getting her name wrong. Especially this bastard pirate. Randolph was his name and magic squares were his game. Especially Jupiter’s right now. He be melancholy lately. Not just because he lost his hat — that was only several hours ago. This be days ago. The tinies on the exact opposite side of the Maebaleia/Satori continent took something from him, but something of much greater value (and he truly loved his hat). Not exactly his pride, although that factored in too.
Elvis Kannelvis was back to training again. He wish someone would just blow up the Urban ice cream parlor over there across the sim line. 15 lbs.! He’d never fit in the hole at this rate. He’d have to cancel the event, lose all that potential money. No… NOT tonight. Back to the woods across the road from the *Active* Urban Mall. And why all those Urbans again in this one small space, he pondered while trying to run even faster at the first whiff of pineapple strawberry.
“Here,” he said while bending over and starting to sort out the gold glass shards. Or was that blue. Red? “Maybe we can put it back together.”
Green now. “No way!” cried Tiny Wanda in her miniature voice to Blue Bear Y. Ginger would, of course, know the difference, despite the giant gummy beast’s fame with fusion energy. They couldn’t put the *colors* back together.
Gold again. Blue.
over the hills
“Sure is a perfect day, Tillie.”
“As usual, Tealy.” BOOOOOOOMMMM.
“What was *that*?” he exclaimed to his 4 colored partner.
“It could have happened in King Post at Wendy’s new place, although that would be quite a long way off. Or maybe King’s Stone, since the
name location is closer. Or (its neighbor) Druid’s Post I suppose. Hucka?”
Cackling from the witches. Baker had forgotten Hucka Doobie went to the White Palace in the skies about, I don’t know, over a single photo-novel’s length ago by now I would guess without checking. “Come with us, Baker B.,” they beckoned. “Come with us to our photo shoot. Kita!” He didn’t have much choice. That would set him back several more hours in his search for the origin of the explosion, but, as a bonus, they indicated the precise location when finished. Not Kita: Kitaro. So close to the Urban Ice Cream Parlor — just missed. Elvis Kannelvis’ coordinates were just a little off. He did better with sports in school than maths. Plus he had indicated the wrong McMillan: there were several in the area as it turned out, although all unrelated to each other. Just like the Urbans. A strange place.
Speaking of which…
An offshoot fireball of the explosion hit Strange Isle, destroying it in the night as the hamlet’s lone inhabitant looks on helpless.
odessey and oracle
It’s not about The Zombies. It’s the lighting, phew!
“Now let’s get out of here,” she said to herself, detaching the machete and the basket for the cut off heads before returning to The Line after adjusting her environment appropriately. Lightening up! Now all she had to do was find the Valentine twins and choose between the two: Natha Neil or Nata Lee?
“Yes, Tillie?” They had almost weeded out all the infected plants from the garden. 3 days of toil and anguish. But no way could they eat most of this stuff. Giganticism!
“How would you like to… visit Aunt Ginger for Valentine’s Day?”
Must have been all the thoughts about the size of things that made her want to do this, Tealy rationalized. But she had other reasons.
She affected the local speech. “Arrr. There be Randolph the Bastard Pirate and his three cornered hat.” She pushed the plate full of apples, oranges, bananas closer to him as he approached. “Ready to see which way the fruit swings?”
He sat down. He was ready.
Line of Linden’s
He was back in the small Linden woods just across the road from the Active Urban Mall, in turn just north of the Urban ice cream parlor — again, no relation that I know of. Point is, he was as far away from the sweets and especially that cursed strawberry-pineapple swirl as possible while still remaining active. Because he had to to fit into the hole, the whole “fit to fit” thing he’d come up with as a slogan, with posters all over the heart of town now. He’d soon be a true, local hero; he *was* a hero. Thanks to him rescuing those rabbit people over in Kitaro from the fires. But he felt he had an obligation to do that. He was, after all, partially responsible for the bomb destroying their quaint village. It should have hit the ice cream parlor! Oh well, The Line dictates where things hit and don’t hit. Take Kingpost: spared during the Great Civil War between northern and southern Maebaleia/Satori, yet conjoined and resonantly named King’s Stone and Druid’s Post a number of sims to the east were bombed almost back to stone; I’ll try to make a post about that horrible event which created confusingly named Lake Kingpost soon.
The woods were chilly tonight, not like the warm, vanilla colored couch of the ice cream parlor where he could lay his still quite pudgy, off-white garbed self like a baby in a manger. This was roughing it in comparison. No sweets, though — that’s the point. He puts his arms around his torso and shivers, eagerly waiting for the coming of sweet golden dawn.
Elvis Kannelvis woke up. His head had been cleared of the remaining effects of the sweets. Cursed strawberry-pineapple! He realized The Line, amplified by the Linden trees around him — just enough to cause the effect — had made him dream strange things, like the burning of Strange Isle, like the bombing of Kitaro when actually Kingpost in the opposite direction was hit — or was it Kings Stone + Druid’s Post? Yes, the latter (two). That’s the explosion Tealy and Tillie saw that day in early May before their visit to Aunt Ginger in an attempt to right things on The Line. Tealy and Tillie were on The Line; Elvis Kannelvis, especially while in the sweets shop, was on The Line; sweet Wendy Wilson dressed in two different dresses soon to be one was on The Line over at her pirate outpost bar in Kingpost. And then finally Aunt Ginger to the far east, as east as you can go on The Line as Kingpost is to the west (and King’s Stone and Druid’s Post kind of more to the middle). Blue Bear Y and Wanda the Lower Minoan seem to be heading to her camp as well. To get a piece of Ginger, although the two visitors to her island are bickering about the decision. Was Wendy actually named Wanda and a secret miniature? That’s only one mystery awaiting us in Section 07.