Saturday, April 20, 2013

Musing on The Boston Tragedies

Thursday night to Friday morning, a friend messaged me, asking if I'd seen that there had been a shooting at MIT. He provided me with a Reddit link and a link to a police scanner. I followed Channel 5 for Boston news as well to get up to date on what was happening and spent the night listening to the manhunt.

Heather is following the news in Boston.
I posted on my personal Facebook page and Twitter about what was going on as I listened to the police chatter (without revealing any locations, mainly trying to share what was going on).
"When I heard the police talking about the civilian traffic, I felt the interwebs had failed, lol."

Meanwhile, others were at work joining mob mentality and posting their bigotry or concocting conspiracy theories. Anyone who knows me well should know that these are abhorrent to me. I'm not going to get into my feelings on them in general, but specific to this situation. This will largely be a collection of things I've posted on Facebook from microblogging to a full on blog post.

This was intense to watch in the middle of the night:

As was this (to get a feel for it, turn off the lights and make it full screen).

I posted this wisdom from a friend:

"The first MIT police officer, who was killed, that set off this whole chain of events, probably caught these guys trying to plant more bombs. They had bombs with them in the car that they threw out at the police, and detonated.

If that MIT Cop hadn't been there, bombs probably would've gone off during school today."

I shared this later.
I asked people to think of him today as a hero. Of course, this was before everything was shut down, but it still stands. 

I slept through the morning and woke up to find that the second suspect was still at large, so I pulled up a uStream of a police scanner and listened. It was when they had just discovered the boat, so I had an intense 'morning' (it was evening, but it was when I first woke up), huddled over my coffee and listening through my headphones while refreshing Reddit, checking the live newsfeed and Twitter feeds while chatting with the friend from last night.

(he missed the actual capture while taking a potty break--tough luck, buddy)

Some bits I posted in my FB thread:

6:45pm They have the boat guy surrounded and I want to know what's going to happen 
6:46pm FUCKING RADIO SILENCE. There's fire on the boat... wonder if he's going to
             blow the whole thing...

omg this is tense
6:51pm they tossed a flashbang, subject isn't moving , K9 units on standby

Calling for a medic

(my mom): He's alive? Awesome!

(back to me): well, EMS will be pissed if they're being called in for a body; that's
             not their job

I will, too, because this dude's been bleeding for hours... been waiting for them
             to move. I wonder if the negotiator facilitated the move...

another ED found?

I'm commenting as they speak. News has to confirm before repeating.

(friend): What are you following online?

(back to me): Reddit, Twitter, live feed from Channel 5, police scanners

(my mom): Ah. Okay. Wil Wheaton just tweeted about it too.

(my mom): Taking him to Mt. Auburn Hospital
7:56pm It's all congratulations and "good job"s on the radio right now
They even congratulated Dispatch, making them laugh XD

"Just a reminder: try and keep it relatively professional."
8:08pm  Everyone is celebrating in the streets, even police are honking horns, etc.

Ambulance just went by. People are applauding.

I listened as the officer radioed in that they had the suspect in custody and as they called for an ambulance. I'm glad they caught him alive, and await the story (as he's in the hospital as I am writing this, though it may have been released by the time I post, since I tend to prefer not to post in the middle of the night).

screenshot I took of the ambulance picture, you can see the O2 mask for starters

I watched the videos of the people applauding in the streets, then the statements. Then I looked through my FB feed and... People's comments led me to post:
Ugh, I am not looking forward to the aftermath--calls for violence and hate--from tonight. My thoughts are with the families of the dead and those who were injured during these events. I will not be engaging in any mob mentality.feeling different.And the conspiracy theorists--that's just as bad.
Then this comment, which is what led me to turn this into a blog post:

Sure, sometimes real conspiracies happen, but not every big news story (and the equal rights that we've been fighting for for, oh, nigh on fucking 50+ years) is a goddamned diversionary tactic!

Those people are real and really dead. Boston has be
en in a state of terror for days. This isn't some fucking game and the gov't didn't stage it. People go crazy all the goddamned time.

"Not only is it stupid, and short-sighted, and crazy, but it also makes the actual tragedy of what's going on, seem meaningless." --same friend as I quoted earlier
*sigh* A bag was laid down next to an 8 year-old boy, who was blown to pieces. These were real people and every time someone starts yelling about religion, conspiracies, etc., they become minimized. What happened to them becomes unimportant.

Even if it is a conspiracy (unlikely), that does not diminish what happened. I suppose it's easy for people who weren't up all night listening to the police being run ragged, being shot at, having bombs thrown at them, having to shoot to kill--you think that doesn't affect them? You think, "Oh, they're heroes" but it destroys a part of them when they have to pull that gun and use it.

For some, it's not as big a deal as long as it's a confirmed "bad guy," but others never recover. Look up post-shooting trauma. It's such a romantic notion, heroism. I'll tell you that the romance disappears when you delve into the aftermath. The officers on duty the last few nights--many of them are going to need counseling. Some of them, it will have to be long term. And most of those--they aren't going to get it. Some because they think they don't deserve it, some because they don't think it will help... other reasons, I'm sure.

This was a tragedy, a nightmare. Regardless of why it happened, that doesn't cease to be true. Don't dishonor the people who suffered through this with conspiracies and dismissal.

This is the stuff that was going through my head while it was happening:
  • what the people in their homes must feel
  • what the police were going through (and the psychology behind it)
  • wondering what the fuck possesses someone to do something like this (and the fact that he's only 19--one of the thoughts I had last night was that he knew he was dead already, and was running, so I put in a comment: "I don't know. I don't know what makes someone decide at 19 or 20 years old that they will slaughter as many people as possible and die. I can't comprehend it. I have friends that age--they worry about relationships and school and their future. *sigh*")
  •  Egg McMuffins (and with the SWAT guy coming out right next to an ad for McDonald's, there was a joke about SWAT your hunger with... in our chat last night), etc. 

Yes, that's right, humor, too. I have to research a lot of dark shit for my books (and since Pet has terrorists in it, all of this just threw me right back into all the research I did), but also because once upon a time, I wanted to be a forensic psychologist, and with a continued interest in that, I still study (informally, and in a few weeks, formally as well) psychology with focuses on child and infant psychology and serial killers. Nice diversity, huh? Well, if you don't have a dark sense of humor, you aren't going to mentally survive that stuff, let me tell you. 

I also totally posted "I wonder if this was going through his head while he was hiding." (that link will take you to the song "On a Boat," which is NSFW--the Navy version, mind).

I'm going to leave you now with one last relevant image and my thoughts with the men and women who were involved in the Boston tragedies this last week.

After I posted this, the same friend from above (who called himself the costar of this post, ha!) sent me this picture (that can't be shared enough) with the message in the caption:
"Context: My friend who lives in Watertown (right between where the shootings happened last night and the location of the arrest of the second bomber) has a 16 month old son. Since they were on lock down this awesome cop went to the store to get them some milk. Very cool."

And this...
Officer Collier's escort home

Friday, April 12, 2013


Last July, I had the pleasure of announcing that I had become a published author, with my first book, Hotel of Lost Souls. This month, I get the joy of announcing the sequel, Pet! I also have a series name: the Lost Humanity series.

If you like vampires and Urban Fantasy (especially Anita Blake or Sookie Stackhouse), then you should like my books! Hotel was described as a psychological horror book with vampires in it. Pet continues in the psychological horror tradition with themes of hate crimes, deprogramming and addiction as well as a continuation in descending into the dark side and how the lines blur.

From the back cover:

Hate is a four-letter word—one that hits home for Zack Henderson only three years after being the victim of terrible violence.​​

While settling into his new life, he finally manages to put the past behind him. Just as he believes he is finally safe, though, hate comes smashing through his door. When everything he cares about is torn away from him, he must find the strength to make decisions of which he had never believed himself capable.

In a world with vampires, humans can still show that being dead is not a prerequisite for being a monster.

You can read a sample chapter on Amazon and if you like it, you can purchase it from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Kobo or Smashwords. All the links for purchase are available at my website.

You don't need an eReader to read my eBook, either! You can read the book now on your phone, tablet, iPad or computer using the Nook App or the Amazon Kindle App (both of which are free!). If you're using an iPad or iPod, you can get Stanza, a free eReading app and read any format that you like!

If nothing can replace the feel and smell of a real book for you, head on over to Lulu and pick up a slightly-larger-than-average paperback! You'll get to experience it the way it was meant to be read! eBooks can't display the little artsy touches at the beginning of each chapter or the fonts that the handwritten notes in the story use. With a physical book, you get back cover art, too!

You can follow my author page on Facebook if you would like updates on future titles and to be able to connect with me personally as well as other readers. Thanks to everyone who has encouraged me over the years and to everyone who purchased a copy of Hotel of Lost Souls!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Musing on Seether

This is the story of one of the worst days and best evenings of my life.

It was Rockfest 2005, hot as all fucking hell. They were doing Liberty Memorial for the first time, it had rained the night and morning before.

I was there to see Seether, Shinedown and Chevelle primarily, but I also wanted to see... I think it was Static X? (and they sucked hardcore because they got there late, had no setup time, their instruments weren't ready... oh, it was awful)

I'm allergic to the sun, so I got sun poisoning like I do every time I go to Rockfest. The ground was pure mud with leftover rain, piss from the portapoties, beer and probably some blood in there, too. I was FILTHY, my shoes were trash--tried to save them, but the mud destroyed them

what was left of the sock
During Chevelle, a mosh pit opened up about 5 feet away from me. Someone was crowd surfing, and I was off from the crowd, not facing it, and they threw him into the back of my head. I went down, couldn't hear anything for a half a minute or so, everything was swimming, and I was sick. Just as I got up, I was hit into the mosh pit, where I was trampled. While I was asking for help, someone yelled at me that I shouldn't be in the crowd if I couldn't take it and then walked off.

I finally got OUT of the crowd and sat down, unable to move, I was in so much pain. I had just wanted to see the fucking band and I'm blind as a bat, so I'd been up relatively close, but tried to stay away from the rowdier parts of the crowd.

I sat down so far back I couldn't see through Shinedown, and they did a great job (as did most of the bands). Then they announced Seether was signing autographs. They had just become my favorite band and I wanted that SO BAD, so even though I could barely walk, I tried to get in line, but it was about 300 people long already, and they were only signing for about 15 minutes.

I knew I didn't have a chance, but I really wanted it. I was basically on the verge of tears trying to walk over there when Shaun Morgan (lead singer) steps out onto the DJ platform to reach the fans himself.

I hobbled over there with my one thing I could ask for him to sign--my ticket. Keep in mind at the time, I'm 5'4", I was at my worst weight ever at the time--255, so I'm short, fat, covered in mud, could barely walk and nursing what was probably a concussion.

I hold up my ticket, and I'm right there. He's coming over to me and I get so excited.

Then this guy who's about 6'0" or 6'1" knocked me down, took my spot and held out his shirt for Shaun to sign.

I stood back up and thought, "There's no way for him to reach me now. I'm too short, and he's too far away."

I considered leaving, but I held my ticket up, and Shaun leaned far out over the railing to reach past the guy and take my ticket.

Then he refused to sign the guy's shirt. He completely ignored him. He'd seen him knock me down, and didn't let him get away with it.

...and that meant a stupid lot to me, considering everything I'd been through that day -- to have someone see a bully and virtually tell them to go fuck themselves. Not just anyone, but a singer I freaking loved. It was an act of kindness to someone not used to it at all. ♥

My BFF (yeah, those were my hand prints)

Then they covered Deftones and I'm in love forever.

terrible audio, but I was there, at this one, that night

better audio, but I don't know what concert

That was the first night I heard Burrito, too, for their (then) new album. Their whole performance was worth it.