Baby Blueberry: Weeks 13-16


Hey Everyone – look how far we made it!

A few baby things have happened since we last touched base.

WEEK 13: It was such a relief to finally be able to tell friends and co-workers about Blueberry Spicehead. Though a few of you had already guessed or grown concerned over my seeming ill health, so I had to disclose much earlier. Co-workers have all been pretty cool and understanding. Especially with tackling both my position and the duties of my supervisor – people have been more forgiving of my brain farts and general grumpiness.

Morning sickness continues to improve, though I attribute that to the presence of the Zofran, which I am taking once daily to combat the worst parts of the nausea. It doesn’t help fight the migraines and it actually contributes to dehydration which adds it’s own complications to other symptoms, but by and large it has helped bring life back to my life. I can eat Indian and Thai food again and really, that’s all I ever wanted.

WEEK 14: Purchased my first outfit for Blueberry. We don’t know the gender yet – but the pattern on the onesie was too adorable to pass up. It was a moment amidst the chaos of organizing an Oscar party where I was like… hey, look at this awesome thing for my baby. I’m going to get it and not feel guilty at all.

Paid off a substantial library fine and picked up a few different baby book suggestions. “Bringing up Bebe” is the only one that really caught my attention out of the pile and I read through it pretty voraciously. Finished it up in a couple days. I liked the first person narration, the autobiographical nature interlaced with France facts and parenting tips. I am hoping to find more books like this – honest, interesting accounts of real pregnancies. Parenting styles still blessedly elude me, but I think I’m starting to put together a framework. I’ve tried to get Dan interested, but he only wants to read “gag” baby books so *shrug.*

WEEK 15: Dan celebrated his 31st birthday and his last hurrah before the baby comes. We made progress on the spare room – to the point where the walls are painted the appropriate colors and we have the trim purchased and ready to be put on. I think that’s happening today (Sunday, March 23, 2014). This is a big step because once we complete the room swap, we can pull down the baby attic stuff, figure out what we need and start the registry.

There are already baby shower plans in the works, so this is a crucial step. But one that can only happen when we have “spare time” or schedule the time to do it. And our commitments are pretty intense and our schedules can be overwhelming. Plus, we like to relax during unscheduled hours and that is in direct contrast to preparing for the baby. So, we’re finding a balance.

WEEK 16: Lots happening this week. Built a cool Pinterest Baby Wishlist which is the second best thing to a registry. Inspired by my sister’s revelation about creating a musical playlist to get her in-utero kid on a sleep cycle, I crafted “Blueberry’s Blues.” Realized after one grueling day in regular pants that I am strictly on a diet of maternity clothes.

But most importantly – we had a doctor’s appointment this weekend. It was nothing intense, just a check in with the midwife. Got to hear the baby’s heartbeat which is incredibly re-assuring. I don’t have those moments of panic as much anymore as I did at first, when I felt like I could lose the baby at any moment, but I definitely wonder how things are going in there.

What I didn’t realize is that you could become addicted to hearing a heartbeat. Wish I had a home ultrasound machine. I would probably check it as often as I check Facebook. Probably more.

So – Blueberry got a clean bill of health. It’s four inches long. It’s super hairy right now – lanugo – according to the baby books. And we’re getting close the point where I should be able to feel her/him kicking and flailing around in the uterus.

The next appointment we will learn the gender. April 18 – Good Friday. So, we’re going to share the gender with the world on Easter. Because that follows the weird Holiday trend with this pregnancy. :) We do have a few good names picked out. For all intents and purposes, Dan named the girl and I feel pretty confident in my choice if it’s a boy. We had a few arguments about that, but overall we are in agreement.


– It eventually grows tiresome to hear “you don’t even look pregnant” or “you’re hardly showing.” Firstly, I don’t wear a ton of tight fitting clothes as a rule, so how would you know what my belly really looks like? Secondly, it is intended as a compliment, but it’s actually kind of insulting. Women’s bodies are scrutinized so much in the pre-natal and post-natal months. Cut us some slack. Our bodies grow at the rate they do. I have a long torso and this is my first pregnancy so I probably won’t look extremely pregnant until the 8th or 9th month. Seriously – it could be awhile. What is cool is that I gained three pounds since my last appointment and that is a huge step forward, since before then I was losing weight and prior to that, had only gained one pound. I’m fighting my stupid metabolism and a growing hungry baby to keep the weight on, and it just bums me out when people comment on how little progress I’ve made.
– If you want to compliment a pregnant lady tell her “You look so cute today” or “You’ve got a nice pregnancy glow.” Keep it basic and focused on how nice we look. Because it’s hard to feel genuinely attractive in maternity clothes and many of us are extremely self-conscious about our bellies, regardless of the size.

– Pregnancy is challenging to friendships. I’ve either had to cut ties with a few folks or had them basically say they needed to take a step back from me while I’m going through this process. It was jarring and upsetting at first, but after researching and talking to peeps who’ve gone through the same thing – it has become apparent to me that this is a natural, but unfortunate side effect of a major life change. Being pregnant and preparing for a baby changes you. Sometimes in sudden, dramatic ways. It alters your life perspective and chemical hormone balance.
– Being pregnant has made me much more sensitive, but I’ve tried to lead with that in scenarios where I might be “overly sensitive.” However – I’ve become far more vocal than I’ve ever been about people treating me badly or just being assholes in general. I’m far more likely to point out people’s crappy behaviors or attitude whereas in other, more placid times I would just be like “oh, that’s just Barney, he’s an asshole sometimes or that’s just Sheila, she can be totally insensitive on occasion.” Lately, I’m far more likely to say, “Hey, you’re being an asshole. Hey, you’re being insensitive.” This has happened in work and social scenarios. Mostly in work scenarios I am being firm about what is my responsibility and what isn’t. Especially since that line is really murky right now. While I always feel a bit guilty about making someone feel bad – I tend not to regret these occurrences, because for the most part – they happened with people who I already had difficult relationships with. And if people can’t handle me during the challenges of pregnancy, they won’t like me when I’m a mother and have far less patience for adults behaving badly.

A NICE STORY TO END THIS ON: We had a not-our-fault car accident this week in which no one was injured. It was one of those random Wednesday evening occurrences that just knocks the wind out of your sails and adds an extra layer of BS to your days. But Dan signed us up for a cool-ass rental car (2013 red mustang convertible) to drive down to the beach clean-up yesterday on what turned out to be a beautiful spring day.

As we were driving home from an awesome afternoon of gorgeous weather on the Pacific Northwest coast with some of our closest friends and family, I had a revelation. The top was down and we were winding through the forested highway back to Portland and I was staring up into the sky watching the trees zip past, thinking “these are the last days of our freedom and independence as a couple. Everything is going to change when the baby comes.”

And the response which immediately rose up in my head was “good.” I want it to change. I want things to change. Not that I didn’t like our life before but so much of it felt like waiting. Like we were doing all these incredible things as a couple in the interim of something more. I wasn’t quite sure for the longest time if that thing we seemed to be waiting for was a baby – or something else. Some big career change or big move. Nope, it turns out it was definitely a baby.

It feels like a lot of building has taken place to get us to this point. And I am ready for the change. I want things to change in a definitive, decisive way. It won’t always be easy to deal with. But Dan and I will get through this change just like we’ve survived everything else – together. :)

Oscar Music Mix 2013


A time honored tradition in our household, the annual culling of the previous year’s movie scores and soundtracks to create a mega compilation that will delight all for at least a year until the next round.

This was a great year for superhero movies, science fiction and fantasy – so that is largely what is featured on this playlist. There are actually even a few Oscar nominated films guest starring as well.

1. Ideal of Hope – Anime Kei (Superman: Man of Steel)
2. Pacific Rim – Ramin Djawadi and Tom Morello
3. London Calling – Michael Giacchino (Star Trek: Into Darkness)
4. Can You Dig It – Brian Tyler (Iron Man 3)
5. A Little Party Never Killed Nobody – Fergie, Q-Tip & Goonrock (The Great Gatsby)
6. Thor: Dark World – Brian Tyler
7. Long Black Road – The Electric Light Orchestra (American Hustle)
8. 1976 – Hans Zimmer (Rush)
9. Love is Blindness – Jack White (The Great Gatsby)
10. Oblivion – M83 (Oblivion)
11. Atlas – Coldplay (Hunger Games: Catching Fire)
12. The Battle Room – Steve Jablonsky (Ender’s Game)
13. White Rabbit – Mayssa Karaa (American Hustle)
14. Mhysa – Ramin Djawadi (Game of Thrones: Season 3)
15. Silver – Hans Zimmer (The Lone Ranger)
16. Money Musk – Tim Fain (12 Years a Slave)
17. Roll Jordan Roll (feat. Chiwetel Ejiofor) – Topsy Chapman (12 Years a Slave)
18. Will the Circle Be Unbroken – Bioshock Infinite
19. Finale – Hans Zimmer (The Lone Ranger)

As always, if you ask me nicely I can mail you a burned copy of the CD via the good old US postal service. Possibly with a special, nerdy treat included. Email me at if you’re interested! 

Baby Blueberry: Weeks 1-13


Howdy everyone – Dan and I are having our first baby!! Right now we’ve named the baby “Blueberry Spicehead” as an inside joke, about a cartoon series that we both love – The Legend of Korra. One of the above sky bison was named “Blueberry Spicehead” by a character and we joked that it should be the name of our first child. So, it’s working as an interim so we don’t have to call the baby “it” all the time. :)

Once we know a gender, I’m sure the name games will begin in earnest.


WEEKS 1-4: This was the BK – “before knowing” – period and well, things probably could have been better during this time. I kicked off the first few weeks of pregnancy by doing a lot of things that are not on the OK checklist for pregnant ladies. Ate sushi, dyed my hair, and drank alcohol.

But, as soon as I found out – the day after Christmas – I immediately stopped all of those things. A few select people were told, and word spread through the family via the Crouchley-Burnham nephews and niece. They are pretty stoked about Blueberry Spicehead and ask about the baby all the time. They are some of the few people allowed to touch my tummy.

WEEK 5: The first appointment, on New Year’s Eve, sticking to the trend of Blueberry appointments and issues centering around holidays. It was pretty low key, no blood or urine samples, just a lot of information and a flu shot which kicked off the exhaustion and nausea portion of the first trimester.


WEEK 6: First week back to work with all the new symptoms. It was definitely a rocky return, and it became clear pretty quickly that I would need to tell the administration team and supervisors about my “health issues” because they were impacting my ability to complete tasks. They were very understanding and even helped move a few tasks off my plate since I’ve been working two positions lately.

WEEK 7: Second appointment. This was the best so far. We were able to see the baby, snap some ultrasound photos, and hear the heartbeat for the first time. Of course, I totally teared up. It’s not hard to stir my sympathetic emotions lately – shampoo commercials, cute animal videos, people telling me stories about other people crying – all cue the waterworks. Even managed to squirt a few tears out while watching Pacific Rim a few weeks ago. *shrug*


WEEK 8: Dan accidentally let the news slip during a birthday dinner for a friend on MLK Day, so several more folks found out. People were very excited, so that took away some of the tension I felt about telling people too early and then having something happen to Blueberry. Suffered a pretty brutal migraine during this week, and took the first “drug” I’d had since learning of the pregnancy. Just tylenol, but it was a bummer all around.

WEEK 9: Had the first episode of nearly passing out while waiting for lunch on Thursday and ended up taking Friday off the next day to recover. Felt equally crappy through most of the weekend, trying out a few more supplements aside from diet including B vitamins and sea bands. Neither of those seemed to have an impact on my barf levels. :( Ended up needing to compromise with work on a reduced schedule as the mornings have taken their toll on me. Getting in to work before 10am is pretty difficult and involves a lot more vomiting than I’d like.

WEEK 10: The great snow storm of 2014 gave me an adequate excuse to lounge around all weekend and recover some of the energy I’d lost over the last month or so during human building, work, family and friends. Ended up watching entirely too much TV and lounging on the couch. It was much needed rest.

WEEK 11: Had a rough day this week, followed by two really good days where I started to feel like myself again – very little nausea and increased amounts of energy. This only seemed to result in over-exertion and poor food choice (sour patch kids, Wendy’s chili and too much frozen yogurt). This kicked off a barf episode on Valentine’s Day that lasted from 3 am to around 9am. Eventually, I roused Dan and he and my mother accompanied me to the Providence ER where they gave me delicious Zofran. And diagnosed me with Hyperemesis Gravidarium. :( $250 later we came away with a cool water bottle, some hijacked barf bags, and prescriptions for more medication.


Despite that setback, we still pushed forward with a weekend at the cabin with friends and family that we’d been planning for months. I slept as much as I could to recover. Got to spend time cavorting in nature, connecting with peeps and laughing a ton. :)

WEEK 12: We attended our second (rescheduled) appointment today on President’s Day, which involved an ultrasound and regular doc appointment stuff. We brought a few of the grandparents along and they were able to see Blueberry thrashing around, delivering lots of kicks and even a right hook. The pics turned out great, you can see that Blue is a real person now!


Unfortunately, the baby’s position was not right for getting the tests completed, so I had to reschedule for Friday, Feb. 21st. We visited with Dan’s Great Aunt Pat on Tuesday and she gifted us a stuffed bear family heirloom, the brother of which was passed down to Dan during his childhood. We are going to find a special place for it in the nursery, along with a picture of Aunt Pat. :)

Started the room swap process of emptying the back bedroom and restoring the hardwood floors. Surprising no one – I’m not great with large scale external changes – especially the in-between chaos. But it was nice to make some smaller, more manageable changes amidst everything else, like shedding clothes from my wardrobe that will not be wearable over the next 8 or so months. Even dumped a whole bag of items that I haven’t worn in over a year but that I’ve kept around because… you know, I used to wear them. I might wear them again? That sort of thing. :(

I feel like every thing we get rid of (a bag of clothes, a tub of yarn, a Thor standee) is one step closer to getting the house ready for Blueberry. It was nice to start that process, but a little daunting and you know, everything feels more real now. Seeing the baby moving and it’s heart beating twice in one week, thinking about impending parenthood. Way more real.

WEEK 13: We took our announcement photos to share with you all. Not sure if it’s the lingering effects of the Zofran but still continuing to gain in strength, energy and feel a decrease in episodes of morning sickness.

In the coming months we’re looking forward to swapping rooms, prepping and decorating the nursery. We also have to go through all the baby items we’ve accumulated in the attic over the years and weed through what will work for Blueberry and what won’t. Pleased to be able to share the experience (and other life milestones) with you all. :)

Stay tuned.


NaNoWriMo 2013: Week Three



I’m noticing a depressing trend of not actually being able to hit any goal I set, but I’m not letting that stop me. So, that’s good, right? :P

Last Saturday I intended to write a bit when we were driving, and instead cleared a few more chapters in Metal Heart with Dan. That was kind of a productive, authorly thing to do. Congrats! When we actually got up to the cabin, there was a burning man to construct and burn, nails to paint, dinner to munch on, Munchkin to play and wine and… no writing.

THEN on Sunday, I slogged my laptop upstairs, curled up on a bed with a pug dog – all prepared to type up at least a chapter to the glorious sounds of my family members playing a board game.

When I woke up two hours later with less than two paragraphs written, damn, I felt good because of sleep, but the lack of any written words sucked.

Again, we read a few more chapters on the way home. We’re almost done with the final read-through.

AND THE REST OF THE TIME: I managed to pump out a paltry 4000 words this week.

I haven’t EVEN gotten close to the end of this new chapter. But I spent a considerable amount of mental energy yesterday mapping the next sequence of the book out (quite literally). Google Maps is the best, ya’ll. Found the perfect location for these characters to travel and even hit a cool plot point that wouldn’t have otherwise happened.

I’m actually not too upset about my lack of forward progress or my inability to reach this word count goal by the end of the month. The spirit is just to keep writing and putting words together. Doing research. Keeping your head in that space. So, it’s motivation. Given the other trials and tribulations of the month, I’m doing alright.


There’s another two day window where I DON’T HAVE MUCH TO DO. But that has equated in the past few weeks to all sorts of interruptions and myriad ways to fill my time.

Aside from house cleaning, a little house deconstruction at my sister’s, and a Saturday night board game party… there are at least a few hours of day and night time that I could devote to the book. I am tempering my optimism with a harsh dose of realism this weekend, judging by my track record. It’s not even procrastination anymore… if I just let life happen, people will fill in the spare time for me. :(

Dan and I were going over my excuses for not making any significant gains this week and I finally said, “There’s always an excuse not to write.”


REVISED GOAL: Reach 80,000 words for the month

GOAL FOR THE WEEK: Well, it’s basically the last week, aside from a few days over Thanksgiving weekend so uhm… I have nearly 20,000 words to go. The honest likelihood of typing that many words is slim to none, but you know, whatever. I would love to knock out a few more chapters. My protagonists current goal is to reach Houston, Texas. I’d like to get there with them.


NaNoWriMo 2013: Week Two



Hit the weekend full throttle, with copious hours stretching before me to achieve the word count goal.

And the weekend hit back.

Last Saturday I was curled up with a kidney stone, hopped up on drugs for the pain. Not so fun, that. Somehow I managed to slog through 5,000 words, even totally doped up. And watched Thor: Dark World again. Because Thor.

THEN on Sunday, I had such best intention. SUCH BEST INTENTIONS.

But after running a few errands and settling in to bang away at the keyboard… all hell broke loose.

My mom came in to ask a question. My SIL showed up to collect a check and borrow a video game. My BIL showed up to collect a game system and borrow a video game.

Dan and our friend Griggs returned from the store and we snacked and chatted before they started armor building.

My buddy Smalls came over to drop off a doughnut and collect a mix CD.

At some point it became apparent I would get absolutely ZERO writing done that day (to be fair, I think one sentence was logged) and I just gave up and started checking some of the other items off the To Do List. Took down the Halloween decorations. Photo-shopped some pictures for a work project. Cleaned up the place a bit. Attempted to wrangle leaves off the walkway.

Basically – a bunch of crap I wouldn’t normally be compelled to do, but nothing makes you more productive than procrastination. Especially when it comes to writing.

By the time Monday hit, I was feeling really low because of the low word count and my general ineffectiveness with the 1up weekend.

But Huzzah!! Even with a side-trip for lunch with my sister, still managed to crank out another 5k, neatly wrapping up the action sequence I was so reluctant to start and barreling into a whole new chapter with added mystery and intrigue. Not giving any details on that one. ;)

Finished up Chapter Seven and added a few bits to the beginning of Chapter 8 on the bus this morning. More personal and professional drama surfaced this week, plus evenings filled with a return to the exercise/gym routine and a work side project. Leading a double life of a novelist and a regular person is steadily depleting my mana.

Luckily our out-of town adventure this weekend consists of staying at a place with views of nature and electrical outlets.


Power through as much as I can. At the moment, the 100,000 word goal seems pretty far out of reach, so I’m going to settle for 80,000 for the month and see if I can’t hit that mark a little easier.

Current Word Count: 56,050

REVISED GOAL: 80,000 words for the month

GOAL FOR THE WEEK: 66,050, which means writing 10k for the week. This seems manageable. This seems so much more manageable. :)

NaNoWriMo 2013: Week One


What happened this week? WHAT HAPPENED?

I had such grand plans to focus and dedicate myself stridently to 2000 words a day.

Yeah. That didn’t happen. So here’s what did…

After a first day which consisted of NO NEW WORDS (but I did finish up reading the draft) – I finally had to admit to myself that in order to move ahead, I was going to have to lag behind and remove the last five pages of the story. I cut them out, pasted them into another document and retooled the last scene.

It was… painful. It was a painful admission because I had planned to just push ahead and go back to fix it later but my brain refused to allow me to commit any more words until I’d committed to those cuts.

So my word count was reduced, then I spent most of Saturday and a wee bit of Sunday beefing it back up.

Monday I started off with the best of intentions, but then personal drama completely derailed me. Not that I didn’t make an effort but it’s hard to type when tears keeping falling on your keyboard and your heart and brain are in totally different places.

As the inevitable clusterfuck of N7 Day and Thor on Thorsday approached, I sort of just gave up during this week.

ALSO: I found myself at another roadblock where I have the entire action sequence laid out but precisely zero interest or motivation with WRITING IT OUT. I verbally explained it to my spouse, so it’s not that I don’t know what’s going to happen in the scene. I just, I kinda don’t care. I know the outcome and I know that it’s a resting point for those particular characters while I jump to the “Plot B” of this book.

At this point, I’d rather just jump to Plot B and come back to finish up Plot A when I’m in the mood. I guess that goes against the grains of all the writing rules but you know what? No one else is writing this book, so I’ll do what I please. ;) The break has allowed me to do a lot of internal tooling of the main character and I’ve also decided I’m going to rework some of the earlier pieces. What I like about this particular stage of writing is that though I have a framework and outline to the story, when I’m writing things just kind of happen. Characters appear and take on a life and shape of their own. Decisions get made that I didn’t anticipate.

I like when my characters surprise me. Cause I think they will surprise the reader too.


Is to get back to my goal. To get back on track. Our beach trip plans were cancelled, so three completely open days stretch out before me. 72 hours of writing madness.

Current Word Count: 46,715
Where I Should Be: 55,386
GOAL FOR THE THREE-DAY WEEKEND: 61,386, which means writing an additional 14,671


“Don’t make me do this the hard way. Just take your medicine like a good boy,” I say, trying to affect sexy and charming. But there is too much fear and chaos happening to pull that off effectively. Rabbit’s not jumping at that bait. He is immune to my charms.

“Fine,” I snap, kneeing him in his privates. He opens his mouth with a gasp and I pop the pill past his lips, clasping my hand over his mouth and nose. He rolls to his side, curling in a fetal position and I tumble off into the grass, still keeping my grip.

“You have to swallow some time. Otherwise it’s going to dissolve in there,” I argue. “Either way, you need this.”

He shakes his head, the stubble from his cheeks rubbing roughly against my hands. Heat from his skin radiates all over my fingertips. He’s burning up with fever. It must be blood poisoning from his head wound or the NV in his system taking over.

After a full minute weakly struggling, thrashing his head, he gives up. I release my grip on him and roll over onto my back, panting. Searching the surrounding trees for signs of Prothero soldiers. I can’t hear them or see them yet, but I know they’re out there. I know they’re coming for us. Fast. We need to be fast.

“Drugs aren’t always going to be the answer,” Rabbit says with no particular inflection to his voice, his eyes dropping open. His pupils are already dilated to the size of saucers.

“Sure they are,” I respond, climbing to my feet.

NaNoWriMo 2013


Is upon me. Imminent. Happening today. So far I’ve not written a single word but I have seriously, SERIOUSLY started re-reading the manuscript and I’m almost done and THEN, I shall start writing. I haven’t done much to this book since November or December of 2012 and stopped, hovering ungainly around the 35,000 word mark and with my characters in a situation that I might *MIGHT* reverse course on.

But, in reading the last 72 hours I have determined that I will not make any changes to the current text, but I’ll just starting writing onto the end of it, knowing the changes that are to come as if they have already went.

If that makes any bit of sense. Which it kinda does…n’t. But that’s fine.

Anyways, I have a plan. But the cold medicine and the work-work are currently getting in the way. Also social obligations. But that’s it – aside from work and health and a full calendar of family and friend times… every other spare moment is devoted to writing.

But here we are again, my friends, blogging like a blogger should blog and gearing up for another insane month of insanity. I think I shall update on Fridays in the future. FRIDAYS FROM THE FUTURE. Or something slightly alliterative but quite authorly, and keep you all informed of the progress of not only this book, but of the first book in the series, which is completed and being read aloud to my spouse at the moment.


In a Dystopian future ruled by fear of a deadly virus, a young woman is orphaned after her parents die in a terrorist bombing. She is horribly disfigured by the same bombing and taken in as a ward of the global corporation, Prothero. They use her to test new medical nano technology,  implanting her with an artificial heart, ear, eye, and arm. As a discarded experiment, she participates in mandatory national service while plotting a way to extract herself from Prothero’s clutches and rescue a friend from her past.

I have vowed it will not be sent anywhere until it graces his ears one final time. I know, he’s supposed to be the worst kind of critic because he’s my spouse but he’s the best and he doesn’t blow sunshine up my ass. Plus he pushes me to promote the damn thing which I could or would never, ever do myself. So there. He gets last dibs on any last minute plot shifts. Which will never happen because it’s done. Like, DONE DONE. Basically.

“Tin Road,” is not. This book is not even close.

Current Word Count: 39,386
Goal By End of Month: An additional 60,000 (2k a day)

Let’s do this.

BONUS POINTS: Here’s an excerpt from the current manuscript, the first few paragraphs of the first page of “Tin Road.”

Rabbit Santiago wants me to shoot him. It’s only with a hand-held EMP, and only to obscure the signal transmitting from the band around his wrist. But considering tonight I already shot and killed his best friend, it seems a tall and brutal order. I’m rooted to the spot, finger poised on the trigger when the sound of sirens stirs us. A hovercar is on it’s way, which means we need to be invisible. We hear the frightening wails before we see it mount the horizon, floating above the ground, moving like a flashing gray ghost. My finger twitches against the metal and the EMP gun kicks. Rabbit grits his teeth as the electricity canceling pulse sucks all the juice from the various tech instruments adorning his body.

“That hurts,” He grunts, rubbing at the glowing metal band around his wrist.

“It shouldn’t,” I say, crinkling my brow. Aside from a generally unpleasant feeling of static cling, the EMP guns are harmless.

“Well it does,” He snaps. “Now get down.” He grabs my arm and pulls us both to the earth. My knees hit the dirty grass first, my teeth biting into the rough soil. I let out a brief curse under my breath which I hope to hell Santiago hears. Then I spit out the nasty taste in my mouth.

His instincts aren’t bad. The hovercar rolls about a thousand yards past our position, towards the signal emitting from Clinton Fuller’s band. The RFID has called them here. Two floodlights attached to either side of the vehicle’s windshield kick on and the bodies become illuminated in eerie blue light. Beside me, still gripping my wrist with his fierce bony fingers, Rabbit sucks in a deep breath and blows it out. I catch a brief whiff of cinnamon, over-ridden immediately by the tang of sweat and metallic odor of blood. Clinton’s blood. We are covered in it.

“We need to get out of here,” I say, my vision locked on the scene. Neither of us moves. We’re transfixed by the steady motion of the machine and the fact that people are dead because of what we did tonight.

Oscar Movie Mix 2012


The “much coveted” door prize of our annual Oscar Party featured a DOUBLE CD filled with musical scores and lyrical jams from some of the best pictures of the year. And then a few that weren’t recognized by the academy, but stole our hearts anyway.

These tracks were lovingly compiled by myself and my buddy Smalls.

Here they are, in very particular order.


1. The Avengers Theme – Alan Silvestri (The Avengers)

2. Django – Luis Bacalov and Rocky Roberts (Django Unchained)

3. Horn of Plenty – James Newton Howard (The Hunger Games)

4. At The End of the DayLes Miserables

5. Fate and Destiny – Patrick Doyle (Brave)

6. Come Away To the Water – Maroon 5 (The Hunger Games)

7. Lockdown – Paul Leonard-Morgan (Dredd)

8. Breadcrumbs – Thomas Newman (Skyfall)

9. Skyfall – Adele (Skyfall)

10. Fire in the Blood/Snake Song (feat. Ralph Stanley and Emmylou Harris) – Nick Cave, Warren Ellis and the Bootleggers (Lawless)

11. Under Hill – Howard Shore (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey)

12. Gotham’s Reckoning – Hans Zimmer (The Dark Knight Rises)

13. One Day More – Les Miserables

14. Tha Mo Ghaol Air Aird a Chuain (My Love Is On the High Seas) – Julie Fowlis (Brave trailer)

15. Gone – Ionna Gika (Snow White and the Huntsman)

16. Misty Mountains (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey trailer)

17. A Future for the Krogan – Christopher Lennertz (Mass Effect 3)

18. Learn Me Right – Birdy and Mumford & Sons (Brave)

19. Song of Mor’du – Patrick Doyle (Brave)

20. Blunt the Knives (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey)

21. Cups – Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect)


1. Look Down – Les Miserables

2. Brass Buttons – Howard Shore (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey)

3. Grand Bazaar, Istanbul – Thomas Newman (Skyfall)

4. Who Did That To You? – John Legend (Django Unchained)

5. Why Do We Fall? – Hans Zimmer (The Dark Knight Rises)

6. I Dreamed a Dream – Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)

7. Plus Que Ma Prope Vie – Carter Burwell (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part Two)

8. Bellas Finals – Pitch Perfect

9. White Light/White Heat (feat. Mark Lanegan) – The Bootleggers (Lawless)

10. Healing Katniss – James Newton Howard (The Hunger Games)

11. Cover Your Tracks – A Boy and His Kite (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part Two)

12. Silver Lining Titles – Danny Elfman (Silver Linings Playbook)

13. Kingdom Come – Coldplay (The Amazing Spider-Man)

14. End Crawl – Nick Cave and Warren Ellis (Lawless)

15. Freedom – Anthony Hamilton and Elayna Boynton (Django Unchained)

16. Touch The Sky – Julie Fowlis (Brave)

17. I’m Proud of You – Sam Hulick (Mass Effect 3)

18. Misty MountainsThe Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

I am too lazy right now to create a YouTube playlist, but each track is linked to its corresponding video if it existed (for as long as that is up on the internet).

I ended up with extra physical copies of the mix if anyone is interested. Send me your address and I promise to mail you a copy in a totally non-stalkery weird way. :)

2013 Nerd Year’s Resolutions

Holy crap, this blog is a ghost town. I’m not gonna ride in with promises like every other time I’ve restarted this venture. But I’m gonna post an entry today. And see how it goes from there. How does that sound?


1. Enter the Rose City Comic Con Costume Contest with a Mass Effect related costume. 

This should be pretty obvs but I really want to build N7 armor this year and yeah…this needs to happen. Hopefully a second job will mean reasonable income and I CAN DO THIS.

2. Join the Vaginal Fantasy Book Club. 

BECAUSE IT’S CALLED VAGINAL FANTASY BOOK CLUB. And I watched one of their video-chat-meetups and they are hilarious ladies whom I aspire to be. Which is sad because they’re my age (or younger) and they’re rich and famous and smart and motivated. I am sad and humbled. So I’m joining their book club to be more awesome like them.

3. Read at least three comic book titles a month. 

I’m not usually into odd numbers but three is better than one and more reasonable than five. My problem with comics has always been TOO MUCH. I get amped up and overwhelm myself with titles and then I can’t afford them or can’t afford the time.

4. Play a new video game series. 

I’m in love with several franchises, but I need to expand my horizon a bit. I’d like to find at least one new game that really moves or inspires me this year and add it to the collection. I’m sure muh spouse and my good friend will help in achieving this goal.

5. Make another tattoo appointment. 

It’s time. My poor Phoenix has been patiently awaiting new ink for the entirety of the 2012 year and received nothing in return. In fact, I think 2011-2012 were pretty barren years for her in general. I’d like to change that. At some point this year – I would like to get back in the hot seat and finish up my ink.

6. Purchase and start having artists create pieces for a sketch book. 

It would be cool to have my own personal book, one for Dan, and then another that we both share. I was thinking Phoenix, at first, because of the tattoo but now I’m really drawn to drawerings of Thor. Mass Effect is probably a bit too obscure for most artists. Dan would probably choose Hellboy. MAN, I really want to do this now. ECCC is coming up in March and kicks off the convention season in the Pacific Northwest. We’d need to get on the ball with this one.

7. Take the comic writing class from Brian Michael Bendis.

Finally. Put my mouth and money where my heart is. Or my heart where my mouth is. Either way, it’s gonna cost money.

8. Join up with a writing group/workshop. 

This sounds much less nerdy than the others, but is blog and comic book and author related, so I’ll let it remain. It would be nice to have a group of people I don’t know helping me improve my writing. YES PLEASE.

Done. Even if more are floating around in my brain…eight is enough. This entry is enough. I hope to be around a lot more this year. I hope to be better at life this year. 2012 was kind of weird and shitty.

Dragon Age Origins Playlist: For the Grey Wardens

Dragon Age Origins header

After dusting off the blog and posting this week, I thought the Mass Effect playlist seemed a little lonely, and was reminded I’d crafted a similar item for Dragon Age: Origins.

This is mostly effective towards the Alistair/Warden camp, but feel it could be appropriate for most FemWardens and their love interests. Perhaps. I dunno. Sheeit.

Here it goes:

1. White Blank Page – Mumford and Sons

2. Breath of Life – Florence and The Machine

3. Run Boy Run – Woodkid

4. The Next Time You Say Forever – Neko Case

5. Dark Moon, High Tide – Afro Celt Sound System

6. Poison and Wine – The Civil Wars

7. Lodestar – Sarah Harmer

8. Gray Stables – Iron and Wine

9. Grown Unknown – Lia Ices

10. Lovers – David Gray

11. Gold Dust Woman – Fleetwood Mac (for Morrigan)

12. Road – Nick Drake

13. Good Woman – Cat Power

There’s also a YouTube playlist for those interested parties. And while I’m at it, I’d love to suggest reading the Dragon Age: The Silent Grove comic book which is supposedly a bridge story between DAO, DAII and the next installment. It features characters from both series, introduces some newbies and has, as promised by the title, DRAGONS. I spotted in TFAW in hardback form while picking up a beautiful, gorgeous Garrus Vakarian action figure. Yes, had to name drop Garrus. Frakking stud.


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