Desert Rose

"How to get through this thing called life" (from the Prince song "Let's Go Crazy")

"When people say that depression will go away if you throw yourself into work, it’s a stupid thing to say, yes. It comes from an entitled place of not knowing what depression feels like, yes. But it’s what my father said to me, and it saved me then just as much it is saving me now."

— from an essay by India-born writer Vijeta Kumar

I am posting this while remembering my dad, two weeks after the unveiling/memorial, with both gratitude and understanding for the complex, deeply flawed person he was (and all of us are).

Desert Rose

It's all over but the shouting, as they say

The memorial one week ago — the technical term for the Jewish version of that is called an unveiling — actually went very well once we actually got to it.

I did it as a creative service (including a 16-page written/printed/bound program) more than as a religious one, first because most folks there were not Jewish, and second because I am a creative person and so was my Dad. We had a biography, poetry, an appropriate excerpt from his favorite book, two of his favorite pieces of music and one of mine, a heartfelt remembrance from a cousin who lives 3,000 miles away, and even an introduction quoting a scene from my favorite show. At the end we did three key Jewish prayers, the final one being sung by an extremely talented lady friend of mine who used to moonlight doing this professionally.

Nevertheless, I have spent the entire week since recovering, just as I suspected I would have to do. It's not even just due to the record-breaking heat, which, the older I get, the more trouble I have tolerating, even though Thank Jack I have AC in the house, and in both cars, and it's available in virtually every indoor space.

I have been nowhere off my property other than to the doctor's office, the laboratory, the pharmacy, to the cellfone store to pay my bill, and to the dollar store and to the fast-food place near the cellfone store, because whenever I'm feeling low I have a tough time going grocery shopping or even showering.

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Desert Rose

Small silver lining (I took the high road)

I was furious last week that one of my oldest friends first equivocated about, then accepted, then declined to attend my father's memorial (set for next month).

I wrote back to him that if circumstances evolved or if he changed his mind, he still would be welcome to attend even at the last minute.

I thought his reasons were shallow or trivial. I did not say so. And I am glad.

He cannot be there for the best and the worst of reasons. He is VERY sick. This is a complete shock/surprise to me, my family and, until relatively recently, I think, even to him.

At least I haven't done anything to make a terrible situation even more terrible.

Desert Rose

Some days are worse than others

Today is a really tough day. I literally can't seem to even remember what date it is any more. I can't figure out what to eat even though I'm hungry. I can't even seem to use the computer properly — I keep closing tabs when I don't mean to. 

I didn't eat breakfast until 1 p.m., and it's past 3 p.m. now and I haven't even gotten dressed yet.

I would think that I was having a stroke or some other serious neurological issue. But I know that's not the problem.

My friend who called me at 9:30 a.m. (and woke me up; I'm usually up much earlier than that, even on a weekend) thinks I'm depressed. I know that I'm not. I know the difference. I have been very seriously depressed in the past, when there was nothing really wrong in my life but I was still not sure that I even wanted to still be in it.

This is different. This is discouragement and grief. Near-unemployment, low income, loneliness, and longing for things to get better. Besides so many other losses, three friends have died in the past two months, elderly ladies all, but I still miss them and mourn for them. Of course, due to pandemic precautions, I wasn't able to see them over these many past months. 

Elderly ladies as I myself will be someday, if I'm lucky to get that far.

I'm going to get off the Internet soon, get dressed  and either go for a walk, do weeding or both. Just as I finish listening, one more time, to Nina Simone's brilliant blending of two songs from the musical Hair, "I've Got No/I've Got Life."

Desert Rose

Reposting the annual Christmas story

I am slowly trying to put my fanfic into what is one of the best-known multi-fandom archives -- Archive of our Own, often styled as Ao3.

This is "Magi," which I envisioned more than 20 years ago, wrote the draft for 19 3/4 years ago, and which has had two significant revisions since then.

The seed of the plot — both the inciting incident and its aftermath — is loosely based on a real-life crime that occurred locally some 30 years ago. It's written in the form of a script for the show Angel but is only half as long as it would need to be, were it an actual script for that hourlong show.

Desert Rose

Posting this today as it's twice timely

First, today is Labor Day currently in the United States, and that national holiday figures directly into my concept for a suitable ending to my current favorite television show, Supernatural. It is also timely because, as of this posting, SPN's cast/crew are up in Canada wrapping up the shooting of the last episode ever.

So, here is my personal vision for concluding SPN, presented a month before the last episodes of Season 15 start airing Oct. 8 and obviously before the finale, “Carry On,” set for Nov. 19.

This is what I think could happen, based on my own understanding of the show plus my literal reading of the show's unofficial theme song referred to in the title of that episode. 

“Carry On” is obviously a nod to "Carry On Wayward Son," the well-known tune from the rock group Kansas. (SPN's protagonists, brothers Sam and Dean Winchester, were born in Kansas and have lived there nearly continuously for the second half of the series.)

The song’s chorus is as follows: "Carry on, my wayward son, there'll be peace when you are done, lay your weary head to rest, don't you cry no more."

So . . .  here is my idea . . . 

Sam and Dean, with assistance from whichever allies are still alive and in Earth dimension at that point, vanquish all (or at least most) of all paranormal evil on Earth. (This makes sense in my head – after all, ask yourself . . . when was the last time you personally saw a wendigo, kitsune, gorgon, djinn, or even a vampire, werewolf, ghoul or ghost?)

In the process, however, Sam and Dean make the ultimate sacrifice – and this time it finally sticks. Billie/Death herself comes for them, assuring them that this is not a punishment but a reward. As they ascend with her to Heaven, their last view is that of the wooden table in their bunker home, which now has the initials JW carved into it, presumably for their father John Winchester, alongside the extant MW (their mother Mary Winchester), SW and DW. 

(We already are aware, from an episode in Season 14, that John and Mary are together and happy in Heaven.)

Meanwhile, back on Earth, because bodies no longer need to be salted-and burned to keep them dead, the surviving hunters give a traditional Western-style burial to Sam and Dean (complete with headstones giving their birth dates and death dates), next to John and Mary in the cemetery. The friends vow to meet there annually to keep all four Winchester grave sites tidy.


PAN IN on a pleasant backyard outside a typical suburban Midwestern home. We see two BOYS, one aged about 5, the other apparently around 9. They are playfully wrestling together on the lawn. In the distance we can see a man and a woman in their 30s setting a picnic table on a patio near the house itself.

A newspaper section blows into the yard near the children. The YOUNGER BOY lets go of the older one, picks it up and reads aloud the banner headline at the top.


Happy Labor Day 1988 from the Kansas City Star!


Hey, that's good reading! I'm proud of you!


And it will be even better as soon as I start kindergarten tomorrow.


You WOULD be excited for school!


I think I hear Mom and Dad calling us to the patio for dinner.


Yay! Mom promised us meatloaf AND pie! I'll race you there!



Desert Rose

Two gen fanfic recs . . . yes, I said gen . . .

Yes, I DO read gen (and I have even written it on occasion). Just saying.

I spent a few enjoyable hours yesterday reading these two longish gen stories in two different fandoms. Here you will find  interesting storylines, good writing, some plot-necessary descriptions of injuries with various causes, no sex whatsoever, and only G-rated platonic affection between males as appropriate.

The Sentinel fandom, Jim PoV: What if Blair had been in NYC on 9/11?


Supernatural fandom, Sam PoV: What if Sam and Dean had met later in life?