Let Them Eat (genetically engineered) Cake

About the food industry, not in a nice way

Archive for the ‘character’ Category

greg’s monsters

Posted by jeanne on February 25, 2010

this is a transcript of someone i know in a text conversation with someone else i know, late at night.  B is the person driving and texting back incredulously.  G is the person who is seeing monsters.  G is evidently communicating from within an ambien-induced sleep-texting episode.  G has been known to sleep-program (he’s a computer programming genius), sleep-eat, and sleep-converse with his daughter at some length, giving the impression of being awake, but saying and doing strange things, and having no recall later.  we believe this is caused by a combination of paxil during the day, and ambien at night.   both are reported to cause sleepwalking, and ambien is real good at vivid dreams and amnesia.

B got a text from G at twenty to one in the morning, while B was driving.

G: 12:40  there is some kind of monster on the loose…hiding in the basement

B: 12:41  ak-47 time

G: 12:42  it’s coming…i hear it roaring.  i can smell the flames!

B: 12:43  jump

G: 12:44  it’s calling my name!  did you tell it where to find me?

B: 12:45  what

G: 12:45  it says it wants my linux box with telephone support

B: 12:45  did u take your meds?

G: 12:45  the dog isn’t barking.  she must be in on it.  (pixie a miniature schnauzer with a bark that can shatter crystal)

B: 12:46  are u awake

G: 12:47  i’m supposed to be in bed but the scraping noises from its tail woke me up.

B: 12:47  go outside.

G: 12:48  maybe, i’m in the basement so i had to be awake to get here.  why am i naked?

G: 12:49  it’s very loud.  maybe the police will come.

B: 12:49  it saw you naked and ran.

B went home and transcribed his text message exchange with G, and had this comment:

“i have been driving this whole time, that’s why my texts are so short.  but coming into traffic, i just called him.  he answered and said, ‘what am i doing in the basement?’  short call and he went back to bed.”

G now claims that he was wide awake the whole time and just fooling with B, but nobody who knows him believes this.  he went on to sleepwalk down the stairs a few weeks later, and broke his neck when the stairs weren’t there in his dream.  i hope he sues.

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Character notes – mother/daughter dynamic

Posted by jeanne on September 29, 2007

daughter has the optimism of youth and pregnancy; mother is full of cynicism and the wisdom of having made mistakes.

daughter has the intolerance of youth and inexperience and complains about everything mother does; mother is well-ingrained in her ways and feels put upon and unappreciated.

daughter has tried the outside world and finds it overrated, wants to come home and let mom take care of her; mother was looking forward to independance and now finds herself at daughter’s beck and call.

daughter criticizes mom’s cooking, cleanliness, dress, way of expressing herself, what she finds funny; mom alternatively feels guilty, responsible, unreasonably expected to change, not loved for who she is.

daughter tries to establish independance by criticism and scorn, ignoring extreme dependance of living at home  and relying on parents for food, shelter, gas money, razor blades and shampoo, always complaining when parents want her to spend less money. “i can’t use chap razor blades, i’ll cut myself.” but everyone else gets by with the cheap stuff. and $16 a bottle for shampoo? why can’t you use suave? “i’d die if i had to go around using fucking dog shampoo on my head. aren’t i worth more?” you could get a job? “this is so unfair.”

there’s more.

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What’s so funny about mothers and daughters fighting?

Posted by jeanne on September 28, 2007

Funny? What’s the difference between funny and pathetic? Or funny and stupid?

The fact that the daughter thinks she’s right in every argument, and the mother finds to her chagrin that she was just as insufferable when she was that age?

The fact that they’re both saying the same things from a different perspective?

Is the dynamic itself funny, the way the daughter can’t hear anything from the mom without thinking she’s being put down, and how the mom can’t listen to the daughter’s unspoken insecurities and fears?

Is their exasperation with each other funny?

Is it the razor-sharp dialogue?

Is it the situation – they’re both alike except for their attitudes, like looking into a mirror and finding nothing but criticism?

Is it funny like the Battling Bickersons was funny?

Or like Abbot and Costello?

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Beginnings of another idea for a novel

Posted by jeanne on September 23, 2007

A variation of Chick Lit — the Hen story. An empty-nester with a full house.Mom and Pop, finally alone after baby girl Star grows up and leaves home. Pop fiddles in his basement and goes after neighborhood cat-killing dogs in an old-age vigilante fantasy. Mom turns Star’s old room into an office, and starts a blog. She is concerned that she’s developed a dread disease, and explores this on her blog. As a sideline, she’s also studying the non-primate origins of humans, including giants, elves, squirrels and other creatures. They have lots of sex.

Star, out in the world, gets in over her head. Too much sex, drugs, and rock and roll (well, rap and hip-hop), and she comes crawling home under indictment (okay, they have to bail her out). So suddenly the empty nest has a captive teenager, and the house is filled with scenes of resentful, nagging scuffles.

Mom is unhappy, suddenly slapped back into the caregiving game she’s tired of. Star is unhappy, yanked out of her wild, dangerous lifestyle. Pop is concerned, and tries to help the girls cope, which only makes it worse. Star ends up in rehab.

Legally, Star and her boyfriend are charged with several counts of drugs and weapons, and it looks pretty bad for them at first. Both families try to keep them away from each other, but they’re young, idealistic, and in love, and search for a way to be together always. So they get pregnant.

Mom discovers after many medical tests that she has food allergies, which downgrades her concerns from the fatal to the merely intensely annoying. She gets no sympathy from Star, who continues to insist on eating food that Mom can no longer stand.

Slowly Star’s attitude improves. As she gets larger and more pregnant, she changes from the rebellious teenager into a dependant child again, and Mom finds herself waiting on her hand and foot, especially after the restaurant Star was working at fires her for not being able to fit between tables. Under pressure from the courts, she finishes her GED, goes to DUI school, and works to pay all her own fines.

Nothing continues to happen with Star’s legal troubles, and nothing happens to the plan to get married and move in with her boyfriend. Star gets bigger and bigger, and maddenly has none of the pregnancy problems that Mom had. She is blissfully happy being pregnant.

Having looked forward to getitng rid of her nesting youngling, again, Mom and Pop realize that there’s every posibility that Star will remain with them even after th baby. She talks of going to college, and keeps mentioning things like going back to the restaurant job around the corner. After some panic Mom and Pop realize that they don’t really hate the idea of having an extended family. Especially as they get to know the boyfriend and his family and realize that they’ve been blaming Star for the trouble their son got himself into.

This needs some plot structure. Much of the elements are here, but I’m having trouble putting it together.

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A character – Mineo the homeless guy

Posted by jeanne on July 25, 2007

Mineo is in his early 50s. He’s been on the streets for the past 6 years, living under a bridge. He refuses (except in times of need) to panhandle on the offramp of the highway, saying that even tho it’s easy money, it’s beneath his dignity. Instead, he works only as much as he has to, doing odd jobs in the neighborhood, partially cutting the grass, sloppily killing weeds, incompetently laying bricks, half finishing the job and then asking for some money before disappearing with the work in ruins. He goes door to door with junk he’s plucked from the garbage, trying to sell the most worn-out crap at an exhorbitant fee, sometimes to the very people who threw it out.

All of Mineo’s money goes to buy crack. He gets his food from the local BP station; a worker puts all the pulled, out of date food into a plastic bag for him to take away. He has a 50-75 dollar a day crack habit.

The cops know Mineo. He thinks they’re his friends. But he’s a crackhead with really bad judgment. Often, he keeps his rock of crack under his foreskin, because he figures no cop is going to check there. And since he never bathes, I think he might be right.

Mineo is a devout Catholic. He will debate obscure points out of The City of God and the Bible all day long. He’s so righteous that he has no trouble telling everyone around him how to live, and the irony of his being a homeless crackhead is lost on him. He justifies challenges to his way of life by giggling and changing the subject.

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