Archive for September, 2008

Despite my duties and responsibilities taking a chunk out of my time, I’ve still managed to heat up the creative cauldron of my book’s progress.  A lot of information has been moving through my brain as I organize and put the final touches on the main components of the world.

I’ve been compiling and readying a list of what I believe will be my third and final set of revisions.  I feel I’m approaching that phase where I’ll be fiddling with words more for perfection’s than completion’s sake.  At least, as far as I can tell.  A lot will depend on what my editor tells me.  I could have hidden mistakes requiring more nights of doom!

In the meantime, I thought I’d share the five core characters of my book.  Those of you who’ve been listening to me run my yap for the last year and a half deserve a crumb of some kind.  Barring a horrible error of bias or ignorance, the roster is as follows:

Rordan:  The protagonist.  A bumbling rustic (jack-of-all trades entertainer).  Studying to be a sage at his brother’s insistence.

Ficna:  Rordan’s upper-class foster-brother and constant companion.  A thoughtless gallant (flashy, self-styled gentleman).  Trying to get his life started.

Kea:  The antagonist.  She’s a  sly wanderer with magical powers.  Looking for a job and living off a large group of loyal friends.

Borus:  Deranged beggar Rordan picks up off the street and cares for.  Incapable of speech and tremendously strong.  Most everyone thinks she is a boy.

Glenys:  An ethically-minded student Rordan meets during his studies.  A skilled, fearless fighter and a stargazer (fortune-teller and expert in the occult).  Hoping to go on an adventure.

And here’s the updated plug:

Young Rordan the artist wants to help his brother Ficna advance.
Kea the drifter is doing her best to get Rordan and Ficna killed.
At Regol Coros Academy, magic is leaking into ordinary life.
If Rordan fails to uncover Kea’s secret, he must serve evil or die!
But can either of them pay the price of magic’s discovery?

I’m driving to the parental unit’s batcave with K, and while we are waiting at the stoplight, we hear bagpipes.  I search in vain for the source.  It’s coming from the woods, and it sounds like some kind of battle march.  Well crumbs that about sums up the times, doesn’t it?

All the transmissions coming in seem to carry a certain amount of radiation identified as belonging to the economic Three Mile Island that never was.  I keep hearing denials along the lines of “this is not the great depression.”  Well, no duh buddy!  That ship has sailed.  I don’t think it’s the “Very Great Depression” either, as some econ blogs have been naming it either.

What if it’s The Depression?  As in, the one big monster that overshadows all other “adjustments” in the rich soaking the poor?  As some may know, anything preceded by “The” in its title, at least in the faerie lands, is way more powerful than any other combination of names.  This ain’t “Big Dude Depression” or “That Depression thingee”, this is THE thing.  The one that all others will be measured by.  Hope you’re ready for the barter system.

Started thinking about a movie I saw a few times as a kid, back in 1974.  Rumplestiltskin.  The dwarf that spins hair into gold for a girl who has been jacked by her father’s unrealistic image of her.  The impossible task.  I think no matter what the rich people do, the train wreck is happening.  This country’s AAA rating is toast.  We’ll never guess that name in time to send the dwarf into the center of the earth in fire.

So I watch an In Search Of… episode on YouTube.  The one about the Loch Ness Monster.  Great stuff.  Delving into the deep like a deep-sea diver for the one shot that will give us some information about the unknown.  That’s where I’m at.  But all I get from that are blurry motion pictures and straight up shots of bubbling mystery that could be anything.  I still believe there’s something going on there.

Despite the attempt to destroy the public’s attempt to be relevant, I come across a public access channel on my folk’s cable channels.  Heck, if there were more channels like this, I’d actually subscribe.  But the one channel can’t handle the weight of 99% need, and some of the programs don’t do it for me.  I understand.  Trying to break through is tough.

Amazing stuff is going on in the underground.  All you have to do is remain open.  Seek, and you shall not find.  Sit down, and wait patiently – the mystery shall give you clues.

I managed to make my way through the stupendous beat-down and reach a sector relatively free of strange activity or mental illness clouds.  The Chaos Hordes are still out there, but at least I have a chance to perform decompression and decontamination on a mental level, and go through recharge and re-program procedures.

Sometimes, when I really need to be by myself and refresh the waters of purity inside me, I sit on the couch and read tons of books.  I got myself a whole bunch to go over, even though I’m not done with the last batch of goodies I got for myself.  I’m non-linear when it comes to exposing myself to people’s ideas.

I also took the time to be open to new transmissions from the divine universe.  I watched Yellow Submarine for inspiration and took away some affirmations of insight to feed my recharge.  I noticed a lot of friends have been revealing themselves as internets-connected to me.  Their dedication and creativity invigorates me.  Bless you guys and gals, I’m down with you +1.

I think I have a topic that I’ll open for discussion.  K admonished me for not doing more topics on that note, despite my miserly stance.  Stay tuned for something along those lines soon.

At work I got a new assistant, and she rocks the mike.  I guess I just have to admit to myself that the age of the DP is over, and it’s the era of AW.  All the weird stuff going on out there in the world, I’m just trying to stay alive and not get jacked.  But I have to remember things can get better.  Now that work is back on main power, I can envision other things.

So here’s what I’m reading right now:

  1. Joseph Campbell – Historical Atlas of World Mythology Volume I: The Way of the Seeded EarthPart 1: The Sacrifice
  2. Joseph Campbell – Historical Atlas of World Mythology Volume II: The Way of the Seeded EarthPart 2: Mythologies of the Primitive Planters: The Northern Americas
  3. Manga:  Natsumi Ando / Miyuki Kobayashi – Kitchen Princess Number 2
  4. Manga:  Rumiko Takahashi – InuYasha Number 2
  5. Manga:  Akira Toriyama – Dragonball Z Number 1
  6. Manga:  Akira Toriyama – Dragonball Z Number 2
  7. John Dewey – Freedom and Culture
  8. Rachel Roberts – Avalon / Web of Magic Book 1: Circles in the Stream
  9. Tamora Pierce – Song of the Lioness:  Alanna The First Adventure
  10. Scott McCloud – Making Comics

I lumped these puppies onto my pile because I need to reconnect with primal things inside me.  I’m looking to learn more about things western culture just ain’t got.  I want to read about heroines, not heroes.  And I’m looking to explore info on the roots of my society, and the specifics on how comics are made.

Who knows where this investigation will lead, but I need to experience the lifeforce of new thoughts and ways of feeling.  Reloading on the shields, warp, and blast-a-roos means getting your brain in order with the rest of your bodily needs.  You may think that sitting on a couch reading is all about the mind, but no.  It’s working a lot more than some secondary organ that thinks it’s running the show.

Looks like Blink and Frankie are both on the mend.  Blink is back to her normal, neurotic needy self, and mischievous Frankie is causing havoc again.  Phantom dog was sensor identified as a Barghest and got the ka-blammo.  The resident fox dropped by to say hi again, always a good sign.  And stress levels returning to nominal amounts.  I tell ya, that superstructure and engine stress will drive you batty.  Oh yeah, Nomad got the torpedo surprise courtesy of K’s birthday Level-Up, so goodbye Sector 2.2.  Everything’s coming up starbases.

“I’m going to give you something.  A pocket full of monstrous killer bees that sting and sting and rip flesh to tiny bits with their claws!  Send them against the crumbum volley aliens, and the flush prophets, and the mindfield you are in.  I grew them in the stinky soil of your diseased garden of weeds.  But you still have to live in my haunted house until I say so.”

Right before the hurricane comes in, K and I make a run to the grocery store before the drones arrive to beam aboard their protein requirements in a hoard.  Milk, water, booze, flour, rice, apple turnovers.  You know, the stuff you’d need in the last days of the acrockalypse.

Gum machines are still instruments of enlightenment, despite half-hearted attempts by the puerarchy to make them into mere sugar dispensaries.  The old school fighters of random stupidity still follow the musical harmony creature as it dances through our reality to balance the antisystem, lest it continue the path to one-sided aggrandizement.

While I’m opening my wallet for the mandatory vacuuming with bonus peak oil food prices penalty, K takes a few quarters and gets herself a little rubber figure and on the first try gets what she wanted.  A little red devil figure.  I take my turn, and I get a little robot dude and a purple devil figure.  She’s happy that she has a little devilkins she can put on her keyboard, it reminds her of our Frankie, who is a devilkins.

Fast forward back to now, and the jack up we just started dealing with on top of the usual realization that it’s all Sector 2.2 days for a while. While K works her brand new bread magic to make us bonus food, and I try to make sense of the psycho-nautical habitat we find ourselves in, we examine our devilkins figures.  They both have what look like cat ears for horns, except her ears are facing the back, so it really looks like horns, and the “Made in China” is on the tummy instead of the back.  Mine is the opposite.  It makes them both different even though they are the same thing essentially.  I think K’s looks cooler, but my purple dude still has character, he’s more cat-like.

Okay, it’s obviously a clue.  I had a dream two weeks ago, where I was trying to keep my mirage from waking up.  He was in a coffin, and I was with a bunch of people, trying to convince them to help me before it was too late.  I was chopping my mirage’s limbs off with an axe, afraid he would wake up and we’d all be jacked.  His eyes were open and looking at me letting me know he knew what I was doing.  Perhaps what I was doing was futile.

I had another dream three days ago, where I found an open entrance into the underworld, and I started digging dirt away to get inside.  For some reason, I called into the tunnel with a howl, and it echoed down into the darkness.  I grew very afraid, and all of a sudden a scary, vicious seeming gollum-like creature appeared at the opening and started trying to dig its way through.  I freaked, because I didn’t want him to escape, and I didn’t want to get yanked into the underworld or have my arm eaten off like what happens in the horror movies.  I woke up before I knew what happened.

Yeah, more clues.  How do me and my mirage deepen our relationship without letting the other make changes on who we are?  The last time I tried to do something for my mirage, he played a mean trick on me.  Maybe I’ve got this all wrong.  But I’m pretty mad, and I guess I’ve been letting things slide long enough.  This night in a haunted house is turning out to be a long one.

So I knock on the basement door to the laundry room and say, “Yo, mirage with all the spooky scary stuff.  What’s up?”

Hurricane Hanna brings in some much needed rain to the area I’m living in.  K and I are happy we don’t have to water the garden for the next day or so.  I always get happy and feel renewed when it’s raining.  But alas, the haunted house and my mirage won’t let us rest for even a moment.  It’s either crumcake bumout, or have your relaxation interrupted by troubles.

Frankie shows a limp, and we see she’s developed a swollen paw.  Well that’s just great, another hit from the crumbum volleys.  Our cats are taking hits for us, and it’s breaking my heart.  If that weren’t enough, the rain leaks into our newly repaired fuse box, and it’s scare of an electrical fire or short circuit explosion all over again.  Crumbs, and I can’t even get a day off to be ruined, that’s how Sector 2.2 this is.

I’ve had enough.  It’s totally time to put on the thinking hat of ultimate doom and figure out what is going on.  I put on my brightest red shirt and shorts, start stomping around like a big grouse, and get angry.  Any supernatural creature or ultra-dimensional being I run into had better hope they have a hall pass signed by me, or I’m going to give them the real world knuckle sandwich and kick them into the hot pot, where I’m going to turn them into food so I can make my bills this week.

I mean, I’m ready to pull my hair out here.  K is all stressed out, and that means I’m really not happy.  Time for time, and yeah it’s all in my mind, so get ready because I’m in the mood to dig ditches.  I gather up a bunch of books from my best-of friendly reading collection and start memorizing ideas.  I might not have many torpedoes left, but I can mine a few more mental paradigms for ammunition.  Shapeshifting 101, get some sense, fool!

Luckily Captain Rowdy was able to restore the main laptop computer circuit and restore lost data.  It’s an EDR (Emergency Damage Repair), so I don’t know how long the jury-rig will hold.  Hopefully by remembering to hit the manual backup override regularly I’ll dodge more croaking of the circuit until I can reincarnate the module.

I’m working on redlines now, in readiness for the third set of revisions, so I don’t need the computer right now.  I’m handling hard copy and jumbling notes about, making a module interface not as critical at the moment.

The launch patrols didn’t sight any phantom dogs, and I haven’t seen any other Unbelievables on the sensor records, cloaked or uncloaked.  The neighborhood cats all seem out in force, however, so increased activity must be going on.  I just hope commander Smokey can handle it, even though Frankie and him just broke up.  I saw a volunteer cat stuck in a tree, either scouting for Clingon jackup cruisers or cowering from phantom pack intruders while waiting for backup.

I’m holding on to the last few mental torpedoes for now, in case I need a special delivery system.  I mean, talk about being stuck in Sector 2.2!  For those of you not in the know, the Star Trek arcade video game had a round where all you did was chase a crazy robotic drone based on Nomad, the super powerful probe from one of the TV episodes, as it dropped mines everywhere and set you up for blowing up real good.  The first time I had to fight that thing was in Sector 2.2 (every round was fought in a “sector”, where Mr. Spock’s voice would say, “Now entering sector…”), I was stunned.  Since then, it’s a euphemism for the suk-level.

And yeah, no starbase neither.  How’s a karmanaut supposed to recharge shields or reload on torpedoes, make repairs, have shore leave, etc. when you can’t get no dock-up?  See, right now I’m stuck at work with no backup, which means no vacation until I can hire a new console operator.  I’m literally like Kirk in “The Doomsday Weapon”, piloting a half-destroyed starship on near-automatic with only a super-engineer keeping the ship running (or as we say, my psychological automatic process).  Meanwhile, some nut is taking my real ship out for a joyride to pick up some Romulon ale and Twinkies.

Or rather, I’m stuck in the not-bonus round, getting jacked, and there’s no starbase recharge for a while.

What happened was my friend and co-worker, a British citizen, was taken into custody by immigration and detained.  Apparently some new law is roping in hundreds of regular people, even with their documentation in order, and forcing deportation hearings on them.  Meanwhile, they sit and rot in tent cities with no laundry or barber facilities waiting for a due process that never arrives (via the handy dirty trick of moving suspects from place to place at taxpayer expense without even telling the court).

His car was broken into and stripped right before this two-month ordeal began, so he wasn’t having a good time to start with.  I think the most surreal moment was when his dad told me he had been shipped to Brownsville Texas, near the border, right as Hurricane Dolly was slamming into the coast.

My friend finally accepted deportation (he’s a small guy and doesn’t speak Spanish, and living with mercenary guards and hardened Latinos was wearing him out), and in a twist of fate immigration dropped all charges and basically said, “never mind, come on back to the states anytime you want”.  He’s understandably reluctant to come back, and at least he’s gone to a country with family and friends where he won’t disappear.

Me and the co-workers have talked to him, and he’s in great spirits, trying to get his life in order after twenty years in the states.  His parents are probably going to sell their businesses and move back there in the next few years.  Tax dollars at work!  Cheap labor, come on in.  Skilled workers who play by the rules, get lost!  And they ask me why I drink.

But the net effect for me is no console operator, and work has entered a period where it’s the busiest time of the year.  I’ll make it through, but having to pilot the ship and hit the phraser button rapid-fire because you’ve got no recharge ability blows.  The crumbum volleys are a flying fast and furious I tell ya!

Even though I don’t have cable, it’s hard to avoid the backwater shadow cast over society by big business.  The ultra-rich are busy bidding for the candidates they think will be best short-term monarch for their interests.  The fleer patrol (false prophet flagships) is out in force in the mediapoly, making sure nobody talks about the issues or carries any news about what the public actually wants.  I swear, I have enough problems without having to hear about the shenanigans of McCuckoo and Ophony as they try to sell us their brand of toothpaste.

Around here where I live, it’s always a tender time during ratify-candidates-already-decided-for-you days.  It’s serious business, because depending on who is coming in or going out, many people’s jobs are at stake.  People seem to drive a little more hard-nosed, shop a little more with the jitters, and hop on pop a little harder in their domiciles.  TV and stereo systems always rise in volume during this time as folks try to drown out the stress with louder programming instructions.

Unfortunately, poor Blink our cat must have taken a hit to the life support.  She’s one of the more dedicated huntresses in our household, eliminating meeses and cave crickets wherever they may roam.  We noticed her urine was coming out wine colored (that’s fancy talk for bloody whizz).  We took her to the vet for a checkup and some kitty drugs, and it appeared to clear up.

Alas, the symptoms returned, and Blink was not a happy camper.  We took her back for a steroid injection to unclog the tubes and an x-ray, which showed no stones or other obvious problems.  We got more kitty drugs, and after a long while, she looks fine.  Hopefully it was a really nasty infection and we’ve taken it out, because the next step is bloodwork and an ultrasound, and that might get serious.

Having the cat patrol makes certain things nicer and easier, but you have to pay the upkeep costs.  Not just love, but also the physical chore of waste disposal, water and food refueling, toy playtime, and of course life support via vet specialist checkup.  Blink has been using me as her personal starbase to dock at and recharge, which I’m grateful for.  Her problems are typical of the edge-of-your seat crumbum storm it is out there right now.

Bob Dylan was right, “Look out kid / You’re gonna get hit” and “Better jump down a manhole / Light yourself a candle”  If I can just dodge those crumbum mines, maybe I can get a shot at the Nomad probe and get out of this sector.  Good thing I kept the reserve warp ready.

Last year I bought one of those joysticks loaded with several arcade games you plug directly into your TV set with.  It had Pac-man, Dig Dug, Rally-X, Bosconian, and Galaxian.  All of those are classics from the video game craze of the eighties.  I played them quite a lot, and have many memories both good and bad from that time when Pac-man led the breakthrough of video games into my consciousness (and likely the mainstream as well).

I was no stranger to Pong, or Combat (a tank game), and I’ve already written about Sea Wolf.  Pinball games were part of my growing up as well.  My folks and I would frequent bars and grills all over the place, and I would inevitably end up playing something for a quarter or two just to get brief thrill of fun.  I even remember a shark attack game I played, which shows up briefly in the movie Jaws.  Good times, crazy experiences.

The joystick I bought stinks, more or less.  It’s too sensitive and too long for the games, and the games themselves are turned up to what I think are difficult levels from what I remember.  I’m annoyed because it interferes with the authentic experience of what the games were like.  Still, playing Pac-man on my TV in the comfort of my own home brings me back to that fateful day me and my dad went to the local bowling alley with seven bucks and played Pac-man like crazy.

But what got me thinking was an article in Boing Boing about the mega-high score gamers who still meet and compete.  I think those dedicated enthusiasts are on to something when they talk about the meditative exploration and systematized analysis of the games.  There’s both mysticism and science at work within the innards of the video game.

On the surface, the video games are pure survival.  But the high scorers take it beyond that and have discovered that beyond certain boundaries (of which not all have been reached in all video games) the game becomes an abyss of the unknown.  The creators of the video games themselves marvel at the doors they have opened, and the players who plunge the depths to bring back insights.

For example, there’s a limit to how far you can go on Pac-man.  After a certain score the game croaks.  The last “bonus fruit” Pac-man gets to eat is a key.  A key to what?  Playing long enough to croak the game causes you to enter a meditative state of non-being.  Is there a formula, a move you can make at a certain point where the game will do the unexpected, something even the creators could never have guessed?

In a sense, video games are just wastes of time, or an activity to be frowned upon.  Youngsters should be doing things more productive (that is, getting them ready for their future roles as workers and consumers).  But I don’t buy that aspect totally.  I find that playing a video game is a lot like reciting meditative mantras.  You are performing a ritual that causes you to enter a trance of non-being.  Might playing video games also be a form of high culture?

I can feel when I’m struggling with a game.  I’ve had a bad day, or some problem is eating my thoughts.  I feel possessed by an effect that pounced on me recently.  As I play, I get the feeling that I am “working a complex out”, untying a psychological knot as it were.  I never noticed this before, but now I think that article confirms for me something I’ve felt for a long time but never said it aloud.

Video games are civilizing influences and a sign of general improvement in humanity.

Yes, even the violent, heavily sexualized games with despicable content.  They are instruments for making you hyperaware of your own capacity for aggression.  To the degree that the game play is fun (and that means well-designed), you become more at peace with yourself.  When you play with and against others, you are relating with fellow human beings along the lines of a social object that you share.

When people get together they start to form systems that work.  Sometimes systems fall apart, but other people take those lessons and try a different approach.  At its heart, a video game is an experience inside a working class, every day establishment where people can get together and have a reason to interact.  That is where culture, and civilization are born.

There are centers of power that will try and control this.  They’ll dumb down the games, turn them into instruments of consent-manufacture, and try to emphasize the “degenerate” elements so hot button topics can be pushed (“save our children from this violent communist menace”).  I don’t think that will work.  Fun and socializing are the fronts of the new 21st century struggle for freedom.  What doesn’t feed those needs will be adapted to and cast aside for what is fun, and social.  A crummy game that causes atomization of people won’t survive, not without cost to its masters.

And the cost of business keeps going up.  Someday the price for hegemony over survival will be greater than the wallets of that quality and then natural selection pays a visit.

But meanwhile, I’m looking at Pac-man and I’m emphasizing with the ghosts.  They are working together, in their individual ways, to stop a rampaging lone intruder from eating all the resources up.  Pac-man is all about “the high score”, or how much points he can rack up before the ghosts succeed.  You can outmaneuver them long enough to get to the “limit” of reality.  But the cost is always another quarter in the end.

In Pac-man, there is a phenomenon called “the intermission”.  When you complete a certain number of screens you are treated to a brief video display of Pac-man and the ghosts in some humorous vignette.  In one, a ghost gets his (or her) ghost outfit caught on a nail and a piece “rips” off, showing what looks like a foot.

“The only winning move is not to play.”  That’s a quote from the movie Wargames.  Perhaps Pac-man isn’t a “man” at all, but an unconscious eating force that threatens the reason of the ghosts and their ordered, cooperative structure.  The ghosts wear “veils” to keep us from seeing the truth – they are the “humans”, civilizing the instincts and in some cases mental illnesses of Pac-man, who represents the person playing the game.

Is there any more apt metaphor for enlightenment?  You must play the game of selfish eating until you “die” enough times to the idea that the world revolves around you.  Only then can you take the lesson learned from the sacred programming text of unconscious unity and live your life as a human being.

Take off your shroud, and look yourself in the mirror.  You had a psychic fever, driving you wild.  You played a video game until you were all right again.  Welcome back to humanity.

I was going over my various papers and uncovered a small plastic bag containing three plastic gemstones.  A big square blue “sapphire”, a medium-sized yellow oval “topaz”, and a small red circular “ruby”.  I did a double take, because I hadn’t seen these things since I bought them at a bead store ten years ago.

It was a whim kind of thing.  Some friends and me were looking over the various cool little beads and buying some just because they looked cool.  Who doesn’t like little prizes?  I bought that combo of fake gemstones because they reminded me of some accessories I used to have even way farther back.  What the heck, I must have been stashing a message for myself down the line.

In the seventies, one of the hot toys to have was the foot-high doll known as GI Joe (with Kung Fu grip), from the Adventure Team.  Basically GI Joe was a character part of an international (as in, American-dominated) troubleshooting force.  He went around with cool vehicles and accessories to all corners of the earth doing stuff like rescuing important diplomats, blowing up evil spy headquarters, and recovering stolen treasures.

A serious candidate for the holy grail of GI Joe play sets was the Mummy’s Tomb set.  It came with a cool yellow all-terrain vehicle to put your GI Joe in, tools like pick and shovel, a pith helmet, and best of all a super cool turquoise green, highly detailed sarcophagus you could open with detachable mummy inside.  Totally cool!  It also came with three small plastic gemstones – the sapphire, topaz and ruby in the colors and shapes described above.

I don’t get how GI Joe was supposed to preserve international peace by digging up an Egyptian mummy and artifacts in the desert in a setup heavily suggestive of western looting of foreign artifacts.  But to a kid in the seventies such nitpicking details are irrelevant to finding treasure and digging it up!  If only there was a giant scorpion or something to guard the treasure.  Other packs had a giant cobra guarding a sacred idol or a giant clam guarding a treasure chest.

There was a 45 record put out by Peter Pan Records that came with a comic.  You would listen to the record while reading the comic and imagine you were part of a GI Joe adventure.  It was called “GI Joe and the Secret of the Mummy’s Tomb.”  In this story, GI Joe goes to a tomb looking to recover jewels stolen from a museum by a thief/con-man named Mummy Barka, who holes up in an old tomb with booby traps and mirrors.

Barka dresses as a mummy and tries to scare GI Joe away, but Joe isn’t having any of that!  He captures the bad guy, rescues the jewels (all the other artifacts are not important I guess), and escapes before an earthquake destroys the entire area.

As is often the case with toys, most of that stuff ended up lost, broken, or in some cases stolen by neighborhood kids when you weren’t looking.  I still have the record and book, but no player.

I’m looking at the gemstones I bought a ways back, and decide the Internets are the place to go!  I uncover a wealth of GI Joe Adventure Team nostalgia sites and get to see pictures of stuff I’d forgotten about.  I also find sound files of the original record and listen to the past come crawling back to my brain stem from the distant past.

I wouldn’t play the same kinds of scenarios now.  I identified with GI Joe then, but I wouldn’t now.  I’d be some other character opposing Joe’s colonialism and uncovering the truth behind the one-sided scenarios you’re expected to accept without question.  I’d uncover another story and make that my fun.  Looting artifacts from other countries?  No way, I’d be digging for psychological treasures with a close watch on my own shadow.

Maybe that’s why the secrets of the Mummy’s Tomb came back to me.  I’m ready now to have the real adventure, and guard the secrets against square-jawed, dull thuds looking to plunder antiquity for cocktail parties at duh-buddy headquarters.

My folks have had many nicknames for me, and because they had to listen to my records all the time, they nicknamed me “Mummy Barka”.  I got mad then because I thought they were teasing me.  But now I see they were calling me who I should have been.  Recovery and protection of sacred treasure using trickery and cunning!  It’s a new thought I never had before, and I’m going with it.