Batman v Superman Review and Reaction Post

I watched Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.  I know it’s old news and I’ve missed the boat to write anything original about this movie but I thought it would be fun to write down my reactions as I watched the movie.  I am going to preface my reactions with a short review.

I’m tore about whether I like this movie or not.  Superman is a weird Christ-like figure who is conflicted about being a Christ-like figure but doesn’t do anything to dispel that image of himself to the public.  His mother tells him he’s can be the hero or not because he doesn’t owe people anything.  A message that pairs nicely with the lesson his father tried to teach him last movie about letting kids drown in a bus to protect his secret.

As much as I hated Superman in this movie, I loved Batman just as much.  Batman is shown to be the urban legend, almost supernatural being, and the World’s Greatest Detective.  Alfred is a joy to watch interacting with him.  This is the best Batman I have ever seen, not counting Batman the Animated Series.  It’s very obvious that this was meant to be Batman’s movie and if Superman’s characterization had not been broody angst man, it would have been a truly excellent movie.  As it is, Superman brings down the movie to just good enough.

Rating: 5/5 for Batman and 1/5 for Superman.  Wonder Woman gets a 3/5 for showing up.

And now for my reactions: (beware of spoilers beyond this point) Continue reading

Confession of a Hypersleep Supervisor

Now I lay me down to sleep
May the tech my body keep
Should I wake before I die
I hope the cold to retry

-hypersleep prayer

***

I’ve never liked hypersleep.  I know it’s safe and I’ve done it dozens of times.  Maybe it’s because it’s not really sleep.  That’s just how the company has sold the idea to the public.  “Sleep your way to a new world!”  Hypersleep.  Suspended animation.  Cryonics.  It all amounts to the same thing.  The cessation of bodily functions followed by the preservation of the body for later revival.  In layman’s terms: we kill you, freeze you, and bring you back to life later.  The tech has gotten better over the years but the basic idea is the same.

As a Hypersleep Supervisor, I’ve done the procedure to hundreds of people and had it done to myself a few dozen times.  Everyone is a little rowdy before we begin.  They’re nervous about going to “sleep” for several years.  I let them think of it as just a long nap, it’s easier that way and most of the will only undergo hypersleep once in their life.  Step one is to induce coma in the sleepers.  I make sure everyone is down before I start freezing the first batch.  It worries people when their friends or family flatline.  Step two, before the heart stops but after there’s no danger of brain hypoxia, I flush their blood stream with anti-freeze compounds to prevent cell damage.  Step three starts when their hearts stop and their bodies are cooled to final storage temperature.  I repeat this until everyone is dead, frozen, and stored away.

After everyone else is tucked away, I get into my tube, attach all the monitoring pads, hook in the blood exchanging lines, and activate the automated freeze and preservation program.  I could set a timer and sedate myself  but knowing that I’m going to die in my sleep is worse than facing it head on.  It doesn’t take long.  I feel the intense cold and then I black out.  This seems to last a few seconds and then I’m awake again.  Still cold but rapidly warming.  My veins burn for a few minutes until the anti-freeze is completely flushed out.  I let the others sleep through that part before bringing them out of their comas.  They wake up never realizing that they were dead for years.

I could give it up.  Settle down on a colony.  Plenty of work for a doctor on these new worlds.  But as much as I hate hypersleep, I never feel more alive then when I’ve just come back from the dead.

Hearts or Crosses

I had a weird interaction at work today in the jewelry department. I showed a woman a necklace with a heart pendent but the chain wasn’t long enough for her. As I was putting it back in the case on one pad, she asked to see another necklace on a different pad.

Customer: Can I see the one with two hearts?

Me: (Looks at jewelry pad she is pointing at. I don’t see a necklace with two hearts.) Which one?

Customer: The one with two hearts.

Me: (Still looking, still don’t see necklace with two hearts. See necklace with two crosses.) The one with two crosses?

Customer: No, two hearts. It’s the second from the left.

Me: (Second necklace from left is the one with two crosses. I reach into the case and touch the necklace with two crosses.) This one?

Customer: Yes.

Me: Those are crosses.

Customer: That’s what I said. Wait, what was I saying?

Me: You said hearts.

Customer: No, I was saying crosses.

I let it drop after that because there is nothing to be gained from arguing with a customer but I did kind of wonder which of us was hearing and/or saying the wrong thing. Was she saying crosses the whole time and I heard it as hearts? Was she saying hearts but thinking she was saying crosses?  Was I saying hearts? Was it some weird mix?

Part of me wants to believe I was hearing everything correctly but part of me knows human perception and memory are fallible. I have never wanted to have recorded a conversation more.


 

A Distant Relative

To whomever may read this,

I come from a family of storytellers. My mother before me, her father before her, his aunt before him. There has always been a storyteller going back for over fifty generations. That is when our family was cursed. A demon was set upon our ancestor for a reason that he did not record except to say he deserved his punishment. When he died the demon passed to his son.

It appeared before him on the night of his father’s death carrying a sack of his father’s stories. It stood ready with parchment and reed pen and demanded a story. The son began to recite a child’s bedtime story but that was not what it wanted. It demanded an original story. The son desperate to appease the demon told it a story about the rain and the corn. The demon accepted the story and said it would be back in one week for another story. For thirty-four years, the son told the demon a new story every week until he too died and the curse passed to his daughter.

The curse has been passed down from father to son, from aunt to niece, from cousin to cousin. After it passed to me, I spent ten years studying the pattern of transference. Once I understood why the curse choses a nephew over a daughter, I formulated a plan to end the curse. I would ensure that there was no one the curse could pass to. I had no children myself so that was not a problem and I was an only child so there were no nieces or nephews or me to worry about. I did have cousins. The ones who had not had children I persuaded to remain childless or to adopt. Those with children were a problem. As dedicated as I was to ending the curse I could not simply kill them. So I out lived them and their children. I held on to life for as long as I could to ensure there was no eligible host or the curse.

If someone is reading this, I’m sorry. I failed. I missed something. A family branch I didn’t know about or a rule about how the curse transfers. I am sorry.

A distant relative, (no signature)

You look up from the letter the demon handed to you when it appeared. It has set a traveling trunk down at the end of your bed, inside is pile of papers, some tied in bundles but most loose. Red glowing eyes look at you expectantly. Ash covered hands hold paper and a fountain pen. Lips pull back into a smile that shows far too many teeth that are far too sharp. An elegant smooth deep voice rumbles, “Tell me a story.”


 

One Message

This is not a story. It’s kind of like a chapter of a memoir I don’t plan on writing. Chapter Five or Seven or maybe it’s the dedication. It sketches out several years of my life in the bare bones. If I was writing this memoir, later chapters would filling some details but this is the story of the story of these years.

Early 2009, I have accepted myself as trans but I am only out to my sister and her kids. Online I’m out and writing and blogging on LiveJournal. We won’t talk about MySpace.

A young woman messages me because we are in the same city and have some shared interests. We converse a few times before meeting in person briefly before I go to see the movie Coraline. A few months later she invites me to the college’s film club’s end of semester party. The following fall I begin attending film club meetings and movie screenings. I make a few friends.

In late 2010, my living situation becomes … unstable. I live with some friends for a couple of months. By January 2011 I have found an efficiency apartment; a kitchen, a bathroom, and a bedroom; that is cheap enough for me to afford but still very expensive. In April, a friend from the film club tells me about one of her friends that is looking for a roommate.

I meet my potential roommate to discuss terms and she finds me acceptable. June 2011, while I am moving in, my new roommate asks if I would like her to use female pronouns for me. I say yes. This is only the second time someone has asked me this.

Over the next couple of years, I meet more people who are accepting of me and I become more comfortable and confident as myself. Late 2014, I come out as transgender at work, the last place I am still presenting as a man, and “complete” my transition.

From a single message on LiveJournal I ended up meeting a chain of women who accepted and affirmed my gender. That one message changed my life.

Thank you.

(Super)Friends: Bob Kane’s Comics

It was a Monday. Or maybe it was a Thursday. Mondays and Thursdays feel the same to me. Not like Tuesdays; I can always tell when it’s Tuesday. Wait, I remember now, it was a Friday.

Fridays can be slow or fast paced depending on a lot of factors ranging from paydays to parenting decisions to weather patterns. You can never tell how the comics business will be on a Friday. Oh yeah, I work in a comic book store called Bob Kane’s Comics. My boss isn’t “The” Bob Kane if you’re wondering; just lucky enough to want to run a comic book store and have the same name as the creator of the Dark Knight of Gotham City.

We’re supposed to be evasive about which Bob Kane the store is named after but I’m not much of a bullshiter. Luckily for me Gerald is the king of bullshiters. I once saw him convert a hardcore DC fanboy to Marvel and then back to DC.

That Friday had been slow. Gerald was in the back room eating his microwave dinner. I was up front leaning on the counter, reading a collection of a comic series I had missed reading last year, when the door opened and she walked in. Tall, blonde hair in a messy bun, thinnish figure contained in tight jeans and a plain heather gray t-shirt.

She looked around taking in the store from the door. I should have greeted her when she walked in but I was feeling lazy and figured if she need help finding something she’d ask. She smiled when she saw me, most women do. Most of them find it comforting to see another woman behind the counter.

Continue Reading

My Mind is a Labyrinth

My memories are a labyrinth
Winding corridors
Secret doors
Dead ends and pitfalls


These are the first lines in a recent poem I wrote called My Memories.  The poem is not very good.  I shied away from what I really wanted to say.

My mind is a Labyrinth
Winding corridors
Dead ends and pitfalls
The monster is my memories.

Lately I find my mind twisting and turning back on itself.  Linking memory to memory in a winding path that leads me back to my sister’s death.  Even this post is another trip through the labyrinth with the same destination.

The path is well worn
Leading from room to room
Each one a tableau,
A story leading me deeper.

When she died, I spiraled into depression.  The same kind of depression I feel now.  Maybe that is why I keep returning to those memories.  Maybe they resonate with the same emotional chord.  I feel closer to her death than I have in years.  I can’t claim to have completely healed from her death, I still have days that my memories reach for her only to find her gone, but the blow of remembering she is gone has lessened.

Deeper to the center
The center where the monster lives
The Monster I created from memories
The Memories I wished to forget.

I remember too much to tell in this space but mostly I remember sitting in the hallway of the hospital.  Family had gathered in the hallway because this was the last time we would be able to see her, the last chance we had to say goodbye.  It all happened so quick.  Less than a day.  I remember the end of the hallway was a big window.  I remember wanting to throw myself through that window to escape from having to wait for her to die.

I can’t forget these memories
They loom over my mind
I wish I could forget them
But if I could I wouldn’t.

My sister’s death caused me much pain.  I became more depressed than I had ever been before.  I reached the breaking point where I sought out help from my local county health services.  I was denied.  I quit my job.  I felt completely lost.

My memories are a Monster.
Not evil, Not malicious,
Just painful.
We make monsters of things we don’t want to see.

But then, things began to change.  I found some new friends.  I found a new job.  I found acceptance from the people around me.  My sister’s death didn’t directly lead me to any of these things but it was part of the journey.  My life has not been smooth sailing since then.  There are ups and downs.  Her death was a major down in my life and while I wish it had never happened; I would never want to forget that it did.

I didn’t want to write this poem and mini-memoir.  I needed to write this.  I needed to work through these feelings and to not shy away from these memories.  I’m not cured of my depression but I feel like I’ve found a new path through the labyrinth.


 

 

Whispers of Another Me

The dream doesn’t end before I wake up.  For a few seconds, I am both myself and someone else.  It fades quickly but I am left confused by the snippets of dream I can remember.  Another life, other friends, other allies, other enemies.  A graveyard, a mask, searching for something.  None of it makes any sense now.

I can’t help turning the tattered memories of the dream over and over in my head; trying to find the edges that match up.  This is what our brains are meant to do.  Find patterns, make connections, tell stories.  But the story left behind is too incomplete, too disjointed by dream logic to make sense to the waking mind.

For the next two hours I struggle to find myself.  I’m lost in whispers of another me that existed in dream.  I have been many people in many places but I always come back to this waking dream called life.

Something Not There

The wall behind the bathroom door is empty
It’s always been empty
You wouldn’t hang a painting there
You wouldn’t put up pictures there
So, why do I feel like the bare wall is wrong?
I don’t remember anything being there
I don’t know what should be there
Something is different about the wall
But nothing has changed.

In the kitchen, up near the ceiling,
where the cabinets meet in the corner
The cabinet doors face each other
No place to hang anything
No place to mount anything
So, why do I feel something is missing?
It doesn’t make sense to put anything there
It would block the cabinet doors
Something was in that corner
But nothing has ever been there.

Or maybe I have it backwards
Maybe nothing was there before
Maybe there is something there now…

Something I can’t see
Something I can’t touch
Something I can’t hear
But I know it’s there.

I feel it watching
I feel it waiting
I feel it wanting

No, no, surely not.
Just a trick of the mind
A random misfiring of a neuron,
I insist to myself.

Still, I can’t stop checking
Behind the door,
In the corner.

Checking for something not there.