Every Tuesday my parents go to Austin’s Bar & Grill with 25 or more other old people. My parents start talking about what they’re going to order on the Wednesday after they were there on Tuesday. Sometimes it’s going to be salad and onion rings. Other times it’s hamburgers and, perhaps, green beans. They tip bigger than they would because others in their group tip smaller than they should. It’s something to do when you don’t have all that much left to do.
On their way to Austin’s, they will pass Garmin, a complex that started out small and just keeps getting wider and taller. My dad worked at King Radio for most of his adult life. It was founded by Ed King, a K-State graduate who built a company that became the gold standard for small aircraft navigational equipment. I worked there during the summers when I was in college where I shipped more 170B transponders than you could imagine. (Coincidentally, Mr. King paid for the International Student Center on the KSU campus and this is where Pete took me on our first “date” where he ate the food in the refrigerator that was not his.)
Anyway, when he was at King Radio, Dad had a casual friend named Gary. They played softball together, talked about their young kids, got their hair cut by the same downtown barber. Gary and an Asian engineer at King went on to combine their names, Gar and Min, and formed the company Garmin. If my dad had been younger and less close to retirement, he would have gone to Garmin in those days when it was neither wide nor tall. Sometimes, as they drive to Austin’s for tacos and french fries, Mom and Dad mention Gary and wonder how things might have been had Dad been in on the ground floor.
Anyway, Austin’s and Garmin collided two days ago in my hometown. As you might have heard, two Indian engineers headed across the street from Garmin to Austin’s to watch what every sports bar in Kansas would be watching—the KU Jayhawks go for their 13th straight Big 12 conference title. A drunk, known to the Austin’s people, kept hassling the two men and was kicked out of the bar. He later returned, shouted something like “Get out of my country” and shot them. Another young man, who would have had no idea that he was going to become a hero that day, stepped in to help. One Indian was left dead, the other was injured along with the hero. Another day. Another angry white man with a gun. Another dead young man. Another time of us all saying we never thought it would happen in our town. Until it did.
And we’ll all begin the rituals that we’ve become so good at. A few days ago, I looked for a GoFundMe page so that I could donate to the desecrated Jewish cemetery in Missouri. Today I will donate to the GoFundMe for the Austin’s bar victims. Young kids and moms and teen girls will bring flowers to put outside the bar. Neighbors of the shooter will say that they knew their neighbor was a bit off but they never expected this. We will mourn the loss of a fellow human who was trying to make his way on this big earth. His body, paid for with GoFundMe money, will make its way home to his family. We are just really really good at this in America. Practice makes perfect.
Anyway, last night, with those words “get out of my country” that have been given more acceptance by Trump bouncing around in my head, I went to the town hall meeting at the church at the end of my street. Senator Jerry Moran was not there. To be completely fair, and I’m trying to be in these trying times, this was not an organized meeting. Moran had not set up this town hall meeting. He had not said he would attend the meeting. Rather, organizers set it up and invited him. Even on the website, it said that no one knew if Senator Moran had seen the invitation and no one knew if he would attend. So I can’t fairly say that he ducked out of meeting that he had never set up.
But his presence or absence isn’t really the story here. I live in Johnson County, Kansas. It’s not totally red like most of Kansas. It’s definitely not blue. But, still, parts of it voted for Hillary. Others voted for the candidates who could not win. If you add those together, more in Johnson County voted for someone not named Trump than voted for Trump. It’s not a purple area yet, but it’s definitely lavender. Olathe, though, is a red dot in that purple. It’s really red. Like maybe scarlet. And, still, the parking lot was packed. Perhaps with as many cars as would be there on a Sunday. It was dark and you could see the headlights of cars driving up and down aisles trying to find a place to park.
My high school friend Verneda was there. We talked about the meanness that we hadn’t known existed in America. We talked about the night Hillary lost. We talked about how all this political activism was something new. We agreed that we needed to keep it up even when it was hard.
The meeting room was full. The overflow crowd had spilled into the lobby. No one in the lobby could hear the speakers inside. What most surprised me was the demographic of those there. I had expected young people in jeans and sweatshirts on this unseasonably warm evening. I’d thought there might be some moms there. They were there. But also there were so many old people. Like really old people. And they, the old people, were the ones in charge. One bent-backed lady with silver hair kept shushing those of us in the overflow area because she wanted to hear the speakers. She looked like those women who always run the polling stations. Those women who show up, do their job, get it done, and go home with no thanks. I repeat. The majority of the people there were old. I was—-surprised.
These old people had us fill out 3x5 cards with messages to be hand delivered to Moran’s office. They had a whiteboard where you could write a message to Moran, take a picture of yourself standing next to it, and as the old women told us, post it to social media. Social Media? These suddenly tech savvy ladies and gentlemen were telling these teens how to use social media to ferment discord.
When I was a teen, there was a song by Buffalo Springfield that I loved and, when I hear it, I remember Vietnam and halter tops and Jesus freaks. The song said:
“There’s something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear.”
That’s how it felt last night in this church lobby in scarlet red Olathe where I mingled with angry riled up Kansans. There’s something happening here. And Senator Moran and others would do well to pay attention.
Reminder that the live stream of Gotham will be at 7 pm US central time
I live in Kansas and that’s the time it airs for me. This time is also the same time as the Friday movie nights. I think I’ve always unconsciously knew that I may do this and set the movie time that way :)
midwestern gothic is a really under-utilized aesthetic but it honestly has so much potential
think about it, it’s perfect:
endless plains that threaten to engulf you in their silence; abandoned old houses, barely standing, that haunt the prairie as much as they themselves are haunted; the remnants of an industrial wasteland that tower over the plains, rusting and crumbling before your eyes; prairie fire eating up the earth, because sometimes the world must burn for life to flourish; highway signs that scream “hell is real” from the edges of the road like a warning; and those little pockets of picture-perfect suburbia, slowly rotting from the inside out
and you can’t escape it, the nothingness of it all– what’s more terrifying than that?
Like, you can choose to be Dean, Sam, Cas, Charlie, Kevin, Crowley, Lucifer, Gabriel, Gadreel, Abaddon, ect and then you choose a place to live (bunker, motel or kansas) and you always live 4 people. For example Dean, Sam, Cas and Charlie in the bunker. And it’s set around the end of season 9 with the whole shebang about MoC and if you choose Dean for example, you’ll have to find ways to fight it, like going out on cases with Sam and Cas or doing research by going to a library and such.
It should be like the sims. You should be able to play like in the sims when you’re at home maybe and like take care of your characters (4 at a time). and then if you interact with someone you can choose what to say, if you wanna be harsh, friendly or if you wanna romance with who ever. so you can make destiel canon, or wincest or sabriel or whatever you name it. and then you can like drive around in the impala checking for cases or if you could find any demons or angels and like kill them and collect their souls or whatever.
then if you maybe choose Crowley or Abaddon you can either choose to rule the hell or if you want to abandon it and maybe become human crowley if you choose Crowley as your character.
or you could make your own character. and you can choose race (human, angel, demon, prophet, someother famous monsters) and you choose your own storyline but it will still cross with team free wills somehow and you can still like romance with everyone you meet, including TFW.
okay, I will just shut up now because this is getting out of hand. this is seriously my dream that someone will actually make this. it’s like 1 in a million but still it would’ve been awesome.
So my house is haunted.
This all started as a joke a few years ago, to explain things, like why a door closed, what a noise was.
You know the usual.
And ever since the beginning we have called my ghost George.
I don’t know why, it was just the first name that felt right.
Recently, my friend and I have decided that my ghost is King George III.
Now I know what you’re saying, why the fuck would the ghost of a king from Great Britain be haunting my house?(I live in bumfuck of Kansas)
I would like to know that as well.
We decided that is was him however, whilst listening to the Hamilton soundtrack.
We connected my phone via Bluetooth to my Beats Boombox (Look at that product placement) and started the album.
Everything was going good, and we made it through the whole soundtrack once with no problems.
And then the songs would skip words, or speed up in the beginning.
Things that don’t normally happen.
And then it began skipping songs completely.
To the point where the only songs that would play in full, would be all of King George’s songs.
And so that how we decided that my ghost, whom I conveniently named George, was actually King George III.
And he’s a gigantic asshole.