Typecasting

So, I’m currently watching an episode of Criminal Minds. The unsub is Kevin from The Office. Talk about your mindfuck. Kevin was such a benign character. And the unsub is well a serial killer. How often do we make people fit into the roles we expect them to?

As a writer, sometimes I rely on the stereotypes to keep the story going. There is a sort of typecasting I do usually involving certain names or ways people look. There are times when I catch myself, but these things are so ingrained in me most of the time I do it without thinking.

But this episode of Criminal Minds has got me thinking. And not in a creepy, it’s better to stay in my room with the door locked sort of way either.How much more interesting would it be for me to even write a story if I didn’t make my douchey characters always named Craig?  Or when the heroine has brown hair and blue eyes.

The very fact I realized how I typecast from an episode of Criminal Minds is a screaming example of how I squeeze myself into boxes. I expected these revelations to come from something much more philosophical. My shock was something that inspired me to write today’s blog. And now it’s over. Both the episode and the blog.

So, it’s a short one.

ABBA

I’ve had ABBA’s Gold album stuck in my head for days. Not just one or two songs. No. The majority of the album. Do you know what it’s like to have most of an album stuck in your head? And it being ABBA no less! So, to mix things up, I put on Mamma Mia! and fast forwarded through James Bond singing but his voice is terrible.

Now I want to go to Greece. I’ve wanted to go to Greece for a long time, but now the desire is amplified. There are so many places where I want to travel to and things I want to see. Like the Eiffel Tower and the Great Wall of China. I want to have adventures. And sitting here without the means to travel is a bit stifling and claustrophobic.

Finding the means to travel is more difficult than I thought it would be. Many times in the interview there’s that damn question… Where do you see yourself in (insert random number) of years? The answer in my head is usually, “not here”, but how do I express that in an interview friendly way? I still haven’t figured it out yet. Sometimes it feels like life is holding up a big sign saying, “YOU DON’T BELONG HERE”

It’s crazy making. I’m trying really hard to not go crazy, but I suppose watching conspiracy theory videos on youtube doesn’t actually help with that. I watch too many of those by the way. It’s not the best usage of my time obviously, but I’ve been watching less of them since I started this creative Lent project. Okay, I promised to take The Boy outside and I actually have other things I need to do. Some creative and some normal tasks.

Saturday… A Continuation from Friday

It’s a Band of Horses/Chat with your foreign friends on FB kind of day while attempting to write a blog before the older nephew gets back from the park. A race against time. Sometimes putting a time crunch on something makes it more magical. I feel that perhaps this isn’t one of those times. So, instead I will write all I can about The Zookeeper for Hell.

 

Georgina was raised mostly by her nanny and when her nanny had time off, she was sent to her paternal grandmother, who had a strained relationship with her son. However, occasionally, her parents would want her around to do a public appearance.

And with that, he just ran inside. It was short, such is life. He’s going back out. So I’ll go on a break and continue when he leaves my presence… And with that we continue. Right after I get my charger.

So really, Georgina’s life now was better than her childhood. Admittedly though, her nanny and gran were lovely women who cared for her a lot, but they were both gone now. She never wanted for intelligence or grace. She wasn’t the most beautiful woman in the world, but she was far from being the most hideous. In fact, she blended in quite nicely with her surroundings where ever she went. These characteristics made her an ideal zookeeper for Hell. It was only recently she had been considering her future. She wondered who would actually care if she became no more. She considered how it would be when the guy on the bus had passed on (which she was sure would happen sooner than later not to be morbid or anything. He was just really old and not in the best of health) while she still looked as young and was as healthy as the day she signed the contract.

Michael kept trying to reassure her these thoughts were normal for someone in her situation. And he kept saying her life wouldn’t always be as it was at this point; there were some job requirements she had yet to fulfill. He guaranteed when these occurred things would be less monotonous and she may even long for the quieter life as others before her had. It was a difficult thing to believe. So, she was most shocked when he came to her one day saying it was time to fulfill a  rare part of her job description.

 

The Zookeeper for Hell… A Character Sketch

Firstly, I decided to switch Thursday and Friday this week, because yesterday my uterus was on fire. Sorry for not giving you a heads up.

Georgina was looking for an internship for her zoology course when she saw an ad in the paper. Intrigued by what sort of person posts a want ad in the 21st century, she responded to it out of sheer curiosity. This is how she ended up as the zookeeper for hell.

She had been the zookeeper for hell for almost a decade. However, looking after the animals produced when the creator got a little too creative was taking its toll on Georgina. It wasn’t as though she could talk about her job; not like anyone would believe except maybe that guy who rode the bus downtown all day wearing the Spock costume. She worked mostly at night but was on-call anytime just in case one of her charges escaped, which only happened rarely.

Another thing about being the zookeeper for hell was you stopped aging as soon as you signed the contract. She was now in her thirties and still being carded on the rare occasion she bought alcohol. The clerks good at math would inevitably comment about her age before they handed back her ID in a bit of awe. And she knew it would only get worse as time went on. Given her schedule and secrecy of her position, she led a very solitary life.

Sometimes Georgina would talk to the man on the bus. He was a special case; he believed her, but no one believed him if/when he repeated the facts she told him. But it wasn’t very often she found herself on his bus in the middle of the day. However those times when they happened across each other, she was quick to greet him with a smile and hug much to the chagrin of the other riders.

Other than the bus rider whose name Georgina didn’t even know, the only other person she had the habit of interacting with was Michael who had hired her. He’d appear randomly whilst she was working to check up on her or to tell her about someone who had actually spotted one of the animals she was in charge of. The creatures she cared for were her only daily companions. She hadn’t spoke with her family since she defied her parents when she decided pursue zoology rather than a performing arts degree.

Georgina wondered what it would be like to have a normal life. But as Michael had reminded her so many times, even before she agreed to be the zookeeper for hell, she wasn’t exactly normal. Her parents had been celebrities; not that either of them were talented. Her mother wasn’t even good at anything. It just so happened she came from a wealthy family, and Georgina’s father was a washed up rock star (to use the term very loosely). Before she was even born both her parents’ egos got in the way of their relationship, but rather than splitting up like normal people would have done, they stayed together for only public appearances and to maintain the illusion of being the successful power couple of the century.

Vacuum of Silence

Immediately after The Boy leaves, there is a vacuum of silence that occurs throughout the house. It’s as if he attracts noise, and when he walks out the door he takes it with him. Thus leaving dead air in which to blink at the wall whilst you attempt to regain your wits. This is the space I’m writing in today.

My mind races with the choices I made concerning him today. I let him cut up some foam, we made pizza, I bought him a generic Wii Controller that’s missing a piece to work properly, and he used a public toilet. Is it weird I let him play with scissors? Should I have made him run more? Does he care he made his pizza with turkey pepperoni? Perhaps there were other words I could have used as we drove to the store? And definitely I should have had a least two ibuprofen before I dragged myself out of bed today.

At least I didn’t say fuck in front of him, and I didn’t lose my temper with him today. I gave him positive adult attention, which kids crave for some strange reason. We had a discussion about being blessed versus being spoiled, and I witnessed the conversation he had with his mom about crucifixion. (FYI that was hilarious… not crucifixion the way in which they interacted.) I also responded when he called me Catwoman because that’s how I roll.

Noise is beginning to return to the house. Cars are driving past. There’s the din of the evening news from the other room. The sound of cupboards opening in the kitchen accent the other noises. Yet somehow it all seems quieter in the absence of The Boy. He’s four years old; not a wizard. How can he make ordinary sounds louder? Granted, in this house shouting is an acceptable form of communication even if you’re angry. And it is situated on a street that gets increasingly busy with each passing year (thanks a lot gentrification). It’s the combination of all the sounds that takes me away from the ruminations of my time with The Boy today and into thoughts about what is left to get done.

Cracked Sidewalks

I had amazing plans to walk to the park overlooking the water and write today’s post basking in the splendor of Puget Sound and the Olympics (Mountains not Games). Except… 1) they just cut the grass at the park and my throat is scratchy and 2) unless I want to highjack someone’s wifi I won’t be able to post it straight away. Instead I will write this in rtf and try not to cough all over my recently cleaned screen.

In other news, today’s entry will actually be edited. So, you know, there’s that.

A lady is walking her twins. Having two friends who both had twins last year, I know how to handle this situation. Ignore her completely because you’re not supposed to talk to strangers. Nailed it. Seriously though, people who have twins are incredible. One baby is dangerous enough, but two, you’d think would be double the trouble, but NO! It’s like quadrupled. Which is why you should always spare the minders of twins frivolous small talk. Then again, I feel I’ve made being aloof an art form and hate small talk in general.

Holy shit that’s a lot of bugs swarming around. Not only did we miss snow this year on the west coast, making the snow pack in the mountains next to nil, but it never got cold enough to kill the bugs. Ugh it’s just going to get worse. Right. Look away from the flying things. But beyond the bugs, it is a rather pretty day in the Pac-NW. Even if I’m outside with my laptop open.

There is a young fella who has his camera out. And currently he and I are the youngest people at the park. There are a few older people looking out onto the water and a senior citizen walking his dog smiling. But the dude is just taking photos and I’m writing about it. I feel like there’s a metaphor in there somewhere about life and the way in which we live it. Additionally, I’m guessing there’s something about generation gaps in there. I know this isn’t a very long entry today, but I’m going to follow the example of my elders and tell those kids to get off my lawn. Wait. That’s not it. I’m going to put my computer away for a bit and just enjoy where I live despite the bugs.

One Time I Tried Monday Without Coffee

Once upon a time I thought the need for coffee was a weakness. I thought it was bad, to put a moral judgement on it. It was something to be conquered. Coffee had to be given up for Lent and whenever I attempted to “restart my system”. There wasn’t any love for what I had labelled an addiction. Then one day it all changed for me.

I accepted my addiction. I chose to remove the moral judgement on the relationship I had with coffee. The brown liquid I consumed each morning wasn’t the enemy. It was just a beverage. And no longer did I feel guilty for burning my mouth each morning in order to get some into my system as soon as possible. Taste buds be damned.

Today, my relationship with coffee is beneficial. I know it’s beneficial because I read coffee is good for you on the internet. (If it’s on the internet, it must be true.) Also, it clears my head when I first wake up. I heard eating an apple or drinking cayenne pepper in water have the same affects as coffee. Not for me it doesn’t. There is something in the ritual of loading the little filter with coffee and putting the thingy in the pot. Then cleaning up the mess because I did it wrong. And trying one more time as you hope and pray you won’t waste anymore coffee because that shit is in fact expensive.

There are many people out there who don’t like coffee or who have some negative thoughts around it. I personally do not understand those people. I don’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t like coffee (at least with cream and sugar). But I do try not to judge them, as there are things in my life that everyone else seems to enjoy but make me want to puke just thinking about them. ie Cherries and Cilantro. See coffee haters, we all have our quirks and it is annoying when folks don’t get it. But still how can you not love the coffee???

In closing, I would like to send a special message to my morning (by morning I mean that time in the day right after I wake up) beverage of choice. Dear Coffee, You are wonderful and delightful. You make my days better. I know I haven’t always appreciated you the way I should, but I do now. I hope remember to be grateful for your presence in my life. Apart from M and S, you are my oldest friend. Love, Miche