Penny Dreadful – City of Angels

I. Love. This. Show.

The first installment began in May 2014 and ended in June 2016. The writers took characters from 19th century British / Irish Gothic fiction and put them all together in one show – Mary Shelley, Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, Robert Louis Stevenson, and just for fun, they threw in some Marquis De Sade.

We were treated to a man who could regenerate dead bodies and what happened to his creations afterward, a man who never aged, vampires and vampire hunters, werewolves and werewolf hunters, necromancers, witches, a man who could change into a different person on stage before a live audience, and Justine, who was rescued from a torture house.

And magic – oodles and gobs and bunches of magic!

Season 3 – Episode 4 is probably some of the best television I have ever seen. It was as though someone reached out from the screen, grabbed me by the collar, and pulled me in. I felt like I was present, watching the events unfold as they were happening.

The second installment began April 26 and is set in 1938 Los Angeles. Maria Vega is a devotee of Santa Muerte, a goddess/angel of protection, healing, and she also transports souls to their afterlife. Maria also does a little dabbling in magic, and her animal spirit is the Coyote. Maria’s firstborn, Santiago, Tiago for short, was branded as a child by Santa Muerte when he tried to save his father’s life. He still bears her handprint on his chest, where Santa Muerte pushed him when he got too close. Now, Tiago is the first Chicano to be promoted to detective in the LAPD. Raul is the second son and the peace maker. Josephina is the third child and only daughter. She decides to turn from both her Catholic faith and her mother’s devotion to Santa Muerte when she encounters Sister Molly, a famous evangelist in the ilk of Jerry Faldwell or Pat Robertson. Mateo is the baby of the bunch; he decides to throw in with the Pachucos and wears a purple zoot suit.

Santa Muerte has a sister, Magda, who is a demon. My reasoning is that Magda fell when Satan was cast out of Heaven, but her origin hasn’t been explained. Magda and Santa Muerte meet and Magda states that humans are inherently evil and sets out to prove her point. She presents herself, in varying forms, to Mateo and other people with connections to the Vega family.

Just to keep us on our toes, we have a demon tormenting people, an angel standing by watching, Maria trying to keep things under control, ritual killings with the bodies painted and positioned as though they were sacrificed, racial tension between the Anglo and Mexican communities, and… wait for it… Nazis.

We have one episode left before the season finale. Episode 9 was horrific, but wonderful at the same time.

The Vega clan has had in-fighting, causing Maria to ask both Josephina and Mateo to move out of the home thanks to Magda, who realized Maria is her biggest adversary and is trying to weaken her defenses.

At the end of this episode, the entire Vega clan unwittingly end up at the same night spot, Josephina and a couple of her gal pals, Mateo with the Pachucos, Raul, Maria, and Tiago with his girlfriend… Sister Molly. Of course, there is a shouting match, but Raul intervenes and because he makes the best peace, everyone settles down and realizes they really do love one another.

They go, en masse to the dance floor while the band plays a Spanish flavored Sing! Sing! Sing! It evolves into the kids and their friends forming a circle around Mamacita, everyone laughing, loving, and happy. It was fun and touching. However, it was also primal — magic at its most pure form. One could see and feel Maria receiving power from the dance, the celebration, and her children’s love.

Magda, in one of her many forms, stands on the sidelines with a look of apprehension on her face… I think she’s figured out that this won’t be as easy as she initially thought.

City of Angels

Stranger

 A fiction prompt

In hindsight, I should have run over her.

My supervisor, Dave, hired a woman for our team, I’ll call her Shelley.  She was six-foot-tall, three hundred pounds, with bright red hair in a bi-level cut, the left side was just below her earlobe, and the right side was collar length. 

I am not a superficial person; I don’t judge others by their appearance. Hell, I would never win any beauty contests myself.  However, there was something about Shelley… a niggling, prickly sensation at the back of my head, an anxious feeling in my chest, a warning to keep my distance.

A week or so later, on my lunch break, I pulled out of the parking space and headed toward the exit. Shelley stepped right into my path and stopped. Shelley, with her outlandish hair, long purple coat, and gray boots.

Just standing there, staring at me.

After I rolled down my window, she explained that her car was in the shop and she was on foot, would I mind if she rode to lunch with me?

That’s how it started. The next day, when I left for lunch, she went with me.  She always had horrible situations going on in her life, her boyfriend said mean things, her mother said mean things, her friends weren’t generous enough, you name it.  If it was bad, it was happening to her.

Then, she started having money woes, didn’t have enough money for groceries or to buy lunch, didn’t have enough money to buy cigarettes.  It progressed to not having money to pay her rent. I got a drunken, hysterical call one night asking if she could pitch a tent in my backyard because her friend threw her out and she had nowhere else to stay.

I felt drained all the time, exhausted. Then, I got sick.  After nine months of dealing with her, I ended up in the hospital on intravenous antibiotics for a massive respiratory infection. 

Shelley quit her job a few steps ahead of getting fired.  After she left, I never heard from her again.  

In hindsight, I should have run over her.

Enough Is Enough!

No social media until Monday. No Twitter, no Facebook, I may not even watch the news on television.

Trump

  1. Scheduled a rally in Tulsa, where the Greenwood Massacre took place in 1921, and has been called “the single worst incident of racial violence in American history”.
  2. Made a tweet threatening protesters with violence if they show up at the rally, and called them “lowlifes”.
  3. Is making people sign a waiver of liability in case they contract CoVID 19 at his rally.
  4. Whining like a little bitch, saying the Supreme Court doesn’t like him because of their rulings on DACA and LGBTQ this week.
  5. Posted a manipulated video of two toddlers on Facebook last night, the eve of Juneteenth, to promote racial tension, and blamed it on CNN. When he was called out, he said it was a parody, meant for a laugh.
  6. Has not acknowledged Juneteenth. At all.

Ansel Elgort

  1. Accuser states she was seventeen, was five feet-two inches tall, and weighed less than one hundred pounds.
  2. Alleged that when he initiated sex, she was terrified and sobbing in pain, but he refused to stop.
  3. Alleged that he told her they “just needed to break her in.”
  4. The same day, an anonymous person tweeted that Ansel is a racist, and likes to use the n-word. This person claims to have gone to high school with Ansel.
  5. Newsweek magazine pointed out that several of the commenters claimed Elgort was the only “Ansel” to have ever attended the school mentioned in the post.

My head is about to split open from all the hate and negativity. My anxiety level is off the chart. In the wise words of Mr. Leary, it’s time to turn on, tune in, and drop out!

So, there’s this…

The past three days at work have been mind-numbingly stupid. Stupid mistakes made by others for me to fix, the explanations are not clear as to what was done and what needs to be done to correct it. This requires enormous amounts of research. Additionally, there is a quota of claims I’m required to finish each day. If it takes twenty to thirty minutes just to find the issue… you see where I’m going.

In the good news department, I had a very happy dream about my mom last night. She was in good health and in good spirits and, in the dream, we had a very nice time. I’m choosing to believe that she actually paid me a visit just to let me know she is okay and happy, and that I should be, too.

So, now that I’m finished working and finished talking about it, I think I’ll take a nice hot bath and soak away the day. Have a great evening!

Come Fly With Me

Share a story about the furthest you’ve ever traveled from home

The furthest I’ve ever traveled from home was to Glasgow, Scotland.

My sister Cathy, our friend Betsy, and I drove from home to Kansas City, and stayed the night at a motel close to the airport. We were allowed to leave the car in their parking lot and take their shuttle to the airport the following morning. Their rate was much cheaper than KCI’s long term parking rate.

We arrived at Newark Liberty International four hours before the flight to Scotland was to depart. The airport staff took us to a private lounge with a television, free snacks, and drinks. It was pretty awesome…

Cut to the actual transatlantic flight. Cathy, Betsy, and I sat in a bank of three seats, Betsy at the window, I was in the middle, and Cathy on the aisle. The arm-rest on my seat with the lever to make the back recline was broken, the back would not lock into position. My choices were: lean forward with elbows on knees or lie in a supine position and stare at the person sitting behind me.

We asked the stewardess if there were other seats where we could sit together, or at least one seat that I could move to, but she stated the flight was basically at capacity. She was terribly sorry, but she had nothing to offer me.

It takes six hours and thirty minutes to fly from Newark to Glasgow.

Think about that.

Six hours and thirty minutes…

I would sit with elbows on knees for a while, then stand for a while, I even cried at one point, but just for a little while.

Fortunately, our time in Scotland was every bit as fun and exciting as we’d hoped it would be. Possibly the best twelve days of my life.

Even better, the flight home wasn’t even close to crowded and each of us were allowed to sit in a bank of three seats all alone. We had all the room we could possibly want or need.

I’m Back

Election year has rolled around and the insanity at Facebook has reached the point I have to leave until the election is over.

Members of my family, and people I’ve known for most of my life have shown their true colors… while they might not be true racists, they’re okay with Trump being one. They’re also defending the police and all the murder and violence that has surfaced this past year.

So, I’m going to start again with the writing prompts and see if I can settle my mind. That doesn’t mean I won’t rant occasionally. Just remember, you’ve been warned.

Day 137

May 17, 2017 Precipice 

Again, at my place of work, we’re working long hours and not having much success.  There are thousands claims totaling millions of dollars, just sitting.  I was asked to jump in and work on them, but when I saw they’re all federal payers – Veteran’s Affairs, Indian Nation Health, Active Military, I knew there was nothing I could do. 
 

We have a team dedicated to these claims, which have to be worked in a very specific way.  If they’re sent incorrectly, we’re not given a chance to appeal, we have to start over from scratch.  It’s a complicated, time consuming process and I am not about to mess anything up. 
 
The hierarchy are flogging us to get claims out the door and money coming in, but we’re working with one hand tied behind our backs, getting closer and closer to the edge of the precipice.   
 
Yay!!