Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Teenager Dies at Disneyland Paris

BBC News- French police are investigating the mysterious death of a 14-year-old girl who lost consciousness while riding on a roller coaster at Disneyland Paris.

The Spanish teenager's friends noticed she was unconscious when the RockNRoller Coaster ride had stopped.

Medical teams at the theme park tried to revive her but by the time an ambulance arrived, the girl had died.

A preliminary inspection of the roller coaster found no machinery malfunction, but the ride remains closed.

Disneyland spokesman Pieter Boterman said the ride would not reopen until the cause of the girl's death was determined.

The ride is at the Walt Disney Studios Park in Marne-la-Vallee, east of the French capital.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut: Miss Temptation

In this rather short story written by Kurt Vonnegut, Fuller is a eighteen month veteran of war who comes home to a small town and encounters a “temptress” in their local drugstore. The temptress is Susannah, who is a young struggling actress staying in town awhile.
Miss Temptation
Fuller felt his lips move, heard the words come out.
“Who do you think you are?” he said to Susanna.
“I beg your pardon?” said Susanna. She drew her newspapers about herself protectively.
“I saw you come down the street like you were a circus parade, and I just wondered who you thought you were,” said Fuller.
Susanna blushed gloriously. “I-I’m an actress,” she said.
“You can say that again,” said Fuller. “Greatest actresses in the world, American women.”
“You’re very nice to say so,” said Susanna uneasily.
Fuller’s skin glowed brighter and hotter. His mind had become a fountain of apt, intricate phrases. “I’m not talking about theaters with seats in ‘em. I’m talking about the stage of life. American women act and dress like they’re gonna give you the world. Then, when you stick out your hand, they put an ice cube in it.”
“They do?” said Susanna emptily.
“They do,” said Fuller, “and it’s about time somebody said so.” He looked challengingly from spectator to spectator and found what he took to be dazed encouragement. “It isn’t fair,” he said.
“What isn’t?” said Susanna, lost.
He stood. “Miss,” he said, his voice full of pain, “you do everything you can to give lonely, ordinary people like me indigestion and the heeby-jeebies, and you wouldn’t even hold hands with me to keep me from falling off a cliff.”
He strode to the door. All eyes were on him. Hardly anyone noticed that his indictment had reduced Susanna to ashes of what she’d been moments before. Susanna now looked like what she really was-a muddle-headed nineteen-year-old clinging to a tiny corner of sophistication.
“It isn’t fair,” said Fuller. “there ought to be a law against girls acting and dressing like you do. It makes more people unhappy than it does happy. You know what I say to you, for going around making everybody want to kiss you?”
“No,” piped Susanna, every fuse in her nervous system blown.
I say to you what you’d say to me, if I was to try and kiss you,” said Fuller grandly. He swung his arms in an umpire’s gesture for “out.” “The hell with you,” he said. He left, slamming the screen door.

He didn’t look back when the door slammed again a moment later, when the patter of running bare feet and the wild tinkling of little bells faded away in the direction of the firehouse.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut: Long Walk to Forever

Long Walk to Forever

They had grown up next door to each other,on the fringe of a city,near fields and woods and orchards,within sight of a lovely bell tower that belonged to a school for the blind.
Now they were twenty,had not seen each other for nearly a year.There had always been playful,comfortable warmth between them,but never any talk of love.

His name was Newt.Her name was Catharine.In the early afternoon,Newt knocked on Catharine's front door.

Catharine came to the door.She was carrying a fat,glossy magazine she had been reading.The magazine was devoted entirely to brides."Newt!" she said.She was sur- prised to see him.

"Could you come for a walk?" he said.He was a shy person,even with Catharine. He covered his shyness by speaking absently,as though he were a secret agent pausing briefly on a mission between beautiful,distant,and sinister points.This manner of speaking had always been Newt's style,even in matters that concerned him desperately.

"A walk?" said Catharine.

"One foot in front of the other,"said Newt,"Through leaves,over bridges--"

"I had no idea you were in town,"she said.

"Just this minute got in,"he said.

"Still in the Army,I see,"she said.

"Seven more months to go,"he said.He was a private first class in the Artillery. His uniform was rumpled.His shoes were dusty.He needed a shave.He held out his hand for the magazine."Let's see the pretty book,"he said.

She gave it to him."I'm getting married,Newt,"she said.

"I know," he said."Let's go for a walk."

"I'm awfully busy,Newt,"she said."The wedding is only a week away."

"If we go for a walk," he said,"it will make you rosy.It will make you a rosy bride."He turned the pages of the magazine."A rosy bride like her--like her--like her," he said,showing her rosy brides.

Catharine turned rosy,thinking about rosy brides.

"That will be my person to Henry Stewart Chasens," said Newt."By talking you for a walk,I'll be giving him a rosy bride."

"You know his name?" said Catharine.

"Mother wrote,"he said."Form Pittsburgh?"

"Yes,"she said."You'd like him."

"Maybe," he said.

"Can--can you come to the wedding,Newt?" she said.

"That I doubt."he said.

"Your furlough isn't for long enough?"she said.

"Furlough?"said Newt.He was studying a twopage ad for flat silver."I'm not on furlough,"he said.

"Oh?" she said.

"I'm what they call A.W.O.L.," said Newt.

"Oh,Newt!You're not!" she siad.

"Sure I am,"he said,still looking at the magazine.

"Why,Newt?" she said.

"I had to find out what your silver pattern is,"he said.He read names of silver pat- terns from the magazine."Albermarle?Heather?"he said."Legend?Rambler Rose?" He looked up,smile."I plan to give you and your husband a spoon,"he said.

"Newt,Newt--tell me really,"she said.

"I want to go for a walk,"he said.

She wrung her hands in sisterly anguish."Oh,Newt--you're fooling me about be- ing A.W.O.L.,"she said.

Newt imitated police siren softly,raised his eyebrows.

"Where--where from?" she said.

"Fort Bragg," he said.

"North Carolina?" she said.

"That all right,"he said."Near Fayetteville--where Scarlett O'Hara went to school."

"How did you get here,Newt?" she said.

He raised his thumb,jerked it in a hitchhike gesture."Two days," he said.

"Dose your mother know?"she said.

"I didn't come to see my mother,"he told her.

"Who did you come to see?" she said.

"You," he said.

"Why me?"she said.

"Because I love you,"he said."Now can we take a walk?"he said."One foot in front of the other--through leaver,over bridges--"

They were talking the walk now,were in a woods with a brown-leaf floor.

Catharine was angry and rattled,close to tears."Newt,"she said,"this is absolutely crazy."

"HOw so?"said Newt.

"What a crazy time to tell me you love me,"she said."You never talked that way before."She stopped walking.

"Let's keep walking,"he said.

"No,"she said."So far,no farther.I shouldn't have come out with you at all,"she said.

"You did,"he said.

"To get you out of the house,"she said."If somebody walked in and heard you talk- ing to me that way,a week before the wedding--"

"What would they think?"he said.

"They'd think you were crazy,"she said.

"Why?"he said.

Catharine took a deep breath,made a speech."Let me say that I'm deeply honored by this crazy thing you've done,"she said."I can't believe you're really A.W.O.L., but maybe you are.I can't believe you really love me,but maybe you do.But--"

"I do,"said Newt.

"Well,I'm deeply honored,"said Catharine,"and I'm very fond of you as a friend,Newt,extremely fond--but it's just too late."She took a step away from him. "You've never even kissed me,"she said,and she protected herself with her hands."I don't mean you should do it now.I just mean this is all so unexpected.I haven't got the remotest idea of how to respond."

"Just walk some more,"he said."Have a nice time."

They started walking again.

"How did you expect me to react?" she said.

"How would I know what to expect?"he said."I've never done anything like this before."

"Did you think I would throw myself into you arms?"she said.

"Maybe,"he said.

"I'm sorry to disappointed you,"she said.

"I'm not disappointed,"he said."I wasn't counting on it.This is very nice,just walking."

Catharine stopped again."You know what happens next?"she said.

"Nope,"he said.

"We shake hands,"she said."We shake hands and part friends,"she said."That's what happens next."

Newt nodded."All right,"he said."Remember me from time to time.Remember how much I love you."

Involuntarily,Catharine burst into tears.She turned her back to Newt,looked into the infinite colonnade of the woods.

"what does that mean?"said Newt.

"Rage!"said Catharine.she clenched her hands."You have no right--"

"I had to find out,"he said.

"If I'd loved you,"she said,"I would have let you know before now."

"You would?"he said.

"Yes,"she said.She faced him,looked up at him,her face quite red."You would have known,"she said.

"How?"he said.

"You would have seen it,"she said."Would aren't very clever at hiding it."

Newt looked closely at Catharine's face now.To her distress,she realized that what she had said was true,that a woman couldn't hide love.

Newt was seeing love now.

And he did what he had to do.He kissed her.

"You're hell to get along with!"she said when Newt let her go.

"I am?"said Newt.

"You shouldn't have done that,"she said.

"You didn't like it?"he said.

"What did you expect,"she said--"wild,abandoned passion?"

"I keep telling you,"he said,"I never know what's going to happen next."

"We say good-by,"she said.

He frowned slightly."All right,"he said.

she made another speech."I'm not sorry we kissed,"she said."That was sweet.We should have kissed,we've been so close.I'll always remember you,Newt,and good luck."

"You too,"he said.

"Thank you,Newt,"she said.

"Thirty days,"he said.

"What?"she said.

"Thirty days in the stockade,"he said--"that's what one kiss will cost me."

"I--I'm sorry,"she said,"but I didn't ask you to go A.W.O.L."

"I know,"he said.

"You certainly don't deserve any hero's reward for doing something as foolish as that,"she said.

"Must be nice to be a hero,"said Newt."Is Henry Stewart Chasens a hero?"

"He might be,if he got the chance,"said Catharine.She noted uneasily that they had begun to walk again.That farewell had been forgotten.

"You really love him?"he said.

"Certainly I love him!"she said hotly."I would not marry him if I didn't love him!"

"What's good about him?"said Newt.

"Honestly!"she cried,stopping again."Do you have any idea how offensive you're being?Many,many,many things are good about Henry!Yes,"she said,"and many, many,many things are probably bad too.But that isn't any of your business.I love Henry,and I don't have to argue his merits with you!"

"Sorry,"said Newt.

"Honestly!"said Catharine.

Newt kissed her again.He kissed her again because she wanted him to.

They were now in a large orchard.

"How did we get so far from home,Newt?"said Catharine.

"One foot in front of the other--through leaves,over bridges,"said Newt.

"They add up--the steps,"she said.

Bells rang in the tower of the school for the blind nearby.

"School for the blind,"said Newt.

"School for the blind,"said Catharine.She shook her head in drowsy wonder."I've got to go back now,"she said.

"Say good-by,"said Newt.

"Every time I do,"said Carharine,"I seem to get kissed."

Newt sat down on the close-cropped grass under an apple tree."Sit down,"he said.

"No,"she said.

"I won't touch you,"he said.

"I don't believe you,"she said.

She sat down under another tree,twenty feet away from him.She closed her eyes.

"Dream of Henry Stewart Chasens,"he said.

"What?"she said.

"Dream of your wonderful husband-to-be,"he said.

"All right,I will,"she said.She closed her eyes tighter,caught glimpses of her hus- band-to-be.

Newt yawned.

The bees were humming in the trees,and Catharine almost fell asleep.When she opened her eyes she saw that Newt really was asleep.

He began to snore softly.

Catharine let Newt sleep for an hour,and while he slept she adored him with all her heart.

The shadows of the apple trees grew to the east.The bells in the tower of the school for the blind rang again.

"Chick-a-dee-dee-dee,"went a chickadee.

Somewhere far away an automobile starter nagged and failed,nagged and failed, fell still.

Catharine came out from under her tree,knelt by Newt.

"Newt?"she said.

"H'm?"he said,He opened his eyes.

"Late,"she said.

"Hello,Catharine,"he said.

"Hello,Newt,"she said.

"I love you,"he said.

"I know,"she said.

"Too late,"she said.

He stood,stretched groaningly."A very nice walk."he said.

"I thought so,"she said.

"Part company here?"he said.

"Where will you go?"she said.

"Hitch into town,turn myself in,"he said.

"Good luck,"she said.

"You too,"he said."Marry me,Catharine?"

"No,"she said.

He smiled,stared at her hard for a moment,then walked away quickly.

Catharine watched him grow smaller in the long perspective of shadows and trees, knew that if he stopped and turned now,if he called to her,she would run to him.She would have no choice.

Newt did stop.He did turn.He did call."Catharine,"he called.

She ran to him,put her arms around him,could not speak.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Florida '07

[ from original livejournal post ]
i had some time to myself to sit back and do nothing so i thought i'd write a real entry since i haven't done so in a while.
i'm the happiest i've been in years lately, after getting back from a stress-free week in florida.
not that i was working too much at work but i was working too hard, and letting the stress really wear me down. stress at home wore me down a lot too, and i've come to realize in reflection during that week of vacation that my job can't be the center of my energy and life for me, and i'm working on my relationship with my boss. the stress between him and i had me completley down for a while, but i hid a lot of my frustration and pain. i'm learning to step up to the bat when it comes to conflict with him, instead of backing down like i usually would. i'm getting stronger.

i have a new outlook on life, and part of the stress management has to include me getting over a lot of mental obstacles in my head, like my perception of other people's thoughts concerning me. i've had low self esteem all these years (just as far back as i can remember now) and it has really effected me in my thoughts, behaviors, and my relationships with friends and lovers. i've let my poor self image block me from achieving a lot in life, and i believe i'm finally sick of it.

now trying to pull myself out from this extremely deep issue, i'm happy to report my relationship with herbie is going great, and i've come to realize that a lot of the problems we were having weren't actually problems at all, but self-created drama that was an effect again of my behaviors/thoughts. there are some things i'd still like to work on with herbie, but nothing big that can be at all really damaging.

florida was such a blast, i have loads of pictures from there, all of which can be seen on either my facebook, my myspace, or on the photobucket sub-album i had created.

a few of the best pictures from the collection:

i am so sorry i never am thoughtful enough to really get into reading any of my friends's entries here on livejournal land, i've been cutting back on my internet time (for my mental health lol) and simply stick more to myspace and facebook.

if there's anything important any of you need to share with me, please tell me to take a look!

xoxx love to all