Friday, October 22, 2010

Zombies . . . .Love and Midterms

About this time a year ago when I was working, I rolled the office chair I was sitting on over my own foot.

It takes talent sometimes.

It was about this time a year ago that the writing was also on the wall for the long term funding for my department. Dead Department Walking.

It was also this time last year that I was working towards the World Fantasy Convention, Lisa and I had collaborated on the House Where Halloween Things Live When It Isn't Halloween.

Which was the last Poppet Project I finished.

So the most interesting thing about running over my toe was that I didn't realize that I'd damaged it until almost right before I left for WFC, because I was trying on dress shoes and felt some pressure. My toe had done that thing toes do when they are bruised under the nail. I'd had experience with this before - it takes about a year to grow out and not look like Zombies Ate Your Toe.

I'm pretty good at predictions, not by being psychic but by doing the work. The department had a two week window at this point last year, if they didn't have good news by the time I was back from WFC, no matter what they were told in meetings they were going to be absorbed back into the larger group, their support staff would be let go, they needed to plan. Schemes were hatched , promises were made, but in the end it's gone down almost exactly the way I'd told them, and now, the zombified toenail is almost grown out - one professional pedicure and the damage will be gone, and the department is officially dissolved. Zombies Were Eating Our Department.

I had one more prediction, that even in "good" times, I'm such an odd collection of skills that it takes about six months to a year for me to be hired again. This time last year I had two months to go before my contract ended, I had finished an amazing accomplishment in 40 days, and I was preparing for the coming storm.

Some of it went the way I expected, and some of it not so much. It's been more difficult in ways. It all feels like circles. Like I'm riding the ripples as the move outward. Sometimes I've been a little zombified.

But at a particular point in time - which was scary and a little low - Lisa sent me some Zombie Love. I didn't know I needed or wanted Zombie Love but there it was.

Smiling it's little embalmed stitching smile at me, fresh blood running down it's ruff . . .

In it's own weird and creepy little way, the Zombie Poppet made all the other zombifications kind of identifiable, and avoidable. Like having an actual Zombie kept all the other zombie wannabes away. Like a totem. It helped a lot.

So when I saw Lisa, I brought Zombie Love with me, and we made a joke about Same Time Next Year. October is now the month I seem to see Lisa in person. It seems so strange to me that I haven't ever cooked for her.

I felt guilty, there were things that we had talked about doing but the year happened without us. It was OK, maybe the year need to grow out, for the damage to work it's way out. Like the toe, maybe I hadn't realized the extent of the damage until it became really visible and it was too late to do anything other than let it heal on it's own.

So here's where I am - the Zombie Toe is almost gone, Zombie Love arrived when I received my Forgiveness Poppet ( who will be appearing here soon as the Embarrassed Ambassador's Younger Sister), Lisa and I are still playing with the House Where Halloween Things Live, because there's no rush, we did it to play. Here's hoping that my annoying streak of being right continues and I will find a job that works for me in the next few months since I predicted it and that the long dark streak of no work on Poppetropolis will end, since I didn't predict that.

It will be like a Halloween Resolution.

And everyone should go to the American Museum of Visionary Arts where some of Lisa's Dark Caravan is being shown in the Smile Exhibition.

My Zombie Love is at the edge of the roller coaster there.

I owe Lisa some pictures. . . . does this one count?

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