Monday, January 7, 2013

My Abusive Relationship

From the first time I laid eyes on Lily, I was enamored with her.  She had soft, beautiful hair and big bright eyes—the kind of eyes you could just get lost staring into.  She moved with an agility and grace that had an almost intoxicating affect on the observer. 

I knew I had to have her.

Unfortunately, she didn’t seem to want anything to do with me.  Whenever she saw me coming, she’d always turn and walk the other way.  In those rare moments when she came close enough to approach, she’d spurn my advances with a coy shyness that drove me mad.  If I so much as attempted to touch her, she would dart away.  She constantly refused to indulge my overwhelming desire to run my hands through that wonderful hair of hers.

I spent weeks wooing her, trying to win her affections with soft words and various gifts.  But still she remained aloof, always just beyond my reach.  I began to fear that my love would forever remain unreciprocated.

Then it happened.  I came upon her, the epitome of the damsel in distress, shocked to find her pinned to the floor by a pair of young hoodlums attempting to have their way with her.  I swung into action, frightening away her attackers and rescuing her from being further violated.

The next day, much to my surprise, lily glided over to me quite suddenly and gently took a seat across my lap.  She stretched her entire body over my thighs and cooed softly.  She stared into me with those big, beautiful eyes of hers and it felt to me as if she could see into my very soul.  She placed a furry paw tenderly to my lips, as if to say “Don’t sully what we have with mere words.”  It was a beautiful moment.


Mowwwww….


Lily, by the way, is my girlfriend Angie’s Persian cat… well… she’s my cat too now, I guess.  Though I’ve come to realize that no one really “owns” a cat.  Those “young hoodlums” I mentioned are Angie’s Chihuahuas, Sancho and Pippa, who gang up on Lily from time to time and attempt to do unspeakable things to her, if you get my meaning.

Though I didn’t realize it at the time—spellbound by her feline charms as I was—this was the beginning of what I now realize has become an abusive relationship, one in which I remain trapped to this day.

Oh, I’ll feed you, baby birds… Allow me to explain.

Things seemed so perfect in the beginning.  I would awaken each morning to Lily’s round yellow eyes staring back at me and the soft touch of her grey paw on my face.

And, of course, she’d let out her usual soft verbal greeting of mowwwww.

As I’d drink my morning coffee and watch the morning news each day, she’d lounge lazily in my lap and allow me to run my fingers through her fluffy coat of ashen fur.  I’d then leave her to nap happily on the couch as I went to work at my home office in the next room.  Every couple of hours I’d take a break, returning to find her waiting dutifully on the couch, ready for a brief session of “heavy petting” (hehehe).

It seemed like a perfect relationship.

I felt as if I’d never love another cat.

But it was all a lie.  I know that now.  Lily was simply luring me into her web of cuteness, building my emotional dependence on her affection until it became a powerful weapon to wield against me.

As time went on, I began to see the real Lily.  Her behavior gradually changed and, as weeks passed, I saw her for what she really was—a manipulative, demanding, overbearing minx of a seductress.

Her once soft greeting—mowwwww—changed in tone, turning from greeting to a demand for my attention.

MOWWWWW!!!! She would screech at me.

No longer did she wait for me to take breaks from my work.  She’d demand my attention, her wails of MOWWWWW growing ever louder until she finally got what she wanted.  I found myself trapped in a world of never ending nagging at the cruel hands (paws?) of a verbally abusive kitteh.

Eventually I just trained myself to tune out her MOWWWWWs and continue with my work.  That’s when her verbal abuse finally turned physical.  I still remember the first time she struck me… or … clawed me.  Whatever.

I now find it ironic that, back during those early blissful days with Lily, I’d actually said to Angie, “I don’t think Lily knows how to use her claws.  She’s never even scratched me.”  To which Angie replied, “Oh, she knows how to use them.  She just chooses not to.”

As usual, my wise better half turned out to be correct in the end… and painfully so, in this particular case.

My first experience with feline domestic violence occurred on a fairly routine day.  I was at my computer, banging away at the keys and doing that thing I do.  Then Lily stalked into the office and sat herself beside my feet.

MOWWWWW!!!! she demanded.

“Not now, Lily,” I told her. “Daddy’s gotta work.  I’ll pet you in a little bit.”

MOWWWWWWWWWW!!!! she repeated, this time longer and a bit louder.  I returned to my work and just tuned her out as best I could.

But Lily REFUSED to be ignored.

She leapt at me, digging her front paws into my thigh and hanging there, swinging to and fro like a furry grey pendulum.

MOWWWWWWWWWW!!!!

I immediately reacted, pulling lily up into my lap.  I finished my work while petting her as she purred away in my lap.  I assumed, you see, that she had just been trying to jump into my lap and stumbled.  She only dug her claws into my flesh in a moment of accidental instinct, trying to stop herself from falling.  She hadn’t meant to hurt me.  Right?

At least… that’s the lie I told myself.  I know better now.

When she did this to me AGAIN on the very next day, I knew damn well that it was no accident.  This time, I put her outside until I could finish my work.  I didn’t want to reward her for that kind of behavior.  When I returned to the couch at the end of the day, lily was peering in at me through the glass patio door.

Mowwwww, she called, ever so softly, as if in apology.

I let her back inside and she snuggled up in her usual spot on my lap.  Lily purred adoringly and arched her back into my hands, as if she was telling me, “I’m sorry, baby.  It’ll never happen again.  You know I love you.”

And I fell for it—hook, line, and sinker.

This, of course, DID happen again.

Seriously… I started to feel like one of those battered wives you see on COPS, who never press charges constantly allowing their abusers back into their homes.

She scratches and claws me in her fits of jealous anger… I put her out of the house… then she comes back with those moon shaped eyes of hers and plays nice with me… and I always forgive her.

And thus continues our cycle of abuse.

I fear I may never break free of it.

Unfortunately, there are no shelters available for 30-something males who are being abused by their girlfriends’ cats… no, really… there aren’t… I checked.

Then, recently I saw an opportunity to escape my abuser, if only for a day.  Like a battered spouse who allows an abuser to spend a night in jail just to teach him/her a lesson, I volunteered to take Lily to the groomer for the day.  During the whole drive, Lily battered me with pleas of Mowwwww, as if to say “Don’t do me like this, baby! You know I love you!”  But I stayed strong and dropped her off for a flea dip and a lion cut (which is ADORABLE, by the way).

I returned for Lily later that afternoon, her gray fluff reduced to velvet all over her torso, and her oddly larger-looking head adorned with a tiny red bow.

I am happy to report that there were no incidents of abuse for several weeks (until the other night when she went medieval on my leg with her claws and teeth for no apparent reason… sigh).

Instead, she resorted to more subtle forms of emotional abuse.  She refused to come near me for days, denying me the feline affection on which I have become so emotionally dependent.  Like a love sick boy, I once again found myself doing things to win back her love and attention.

However, after her rampage the other day… I fear our relationship may now be irreparably fractured.

Oh, well… at least some of the claw marks are finally healing.

I fear I may need professional help. LOL

Lily being her uber-cute self.

Lily's angry face.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

TGIF 2012: Is This The End? Yes!


For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been experiencing a strange sense of déjà vu as emails from various readers, friends, associates, total strangers, etc. have once again begun to clog my inbox with requests for my opinion as to whether or not I think the “end of the world” is coming.  Yep… I definitely have a suspicion that I’ve done this before… oh yeah... maybe it’s because I HAVE done this before… several times.  I also suspect this isn’t the last time I’m asked to cover this subject.

Or is it?

I have sat down many times to write this response.  What you’re about to read is by no means my first attempt.  I tried writing about how various doomsdayers have been “pulling the apocalypse fire alarm,” but it just felt like I was spewing out more of the same old rhetoric. 

Then I thought about discussing how afraid I am of people, more specifically those whose belief in Friday’s apocalypse could cause them to snap.  But… honestly… I think people have enough to be sad and/or worried about right now, after the events of recent days. 

Then I tried to just write up a generic “No” answer of some kind… to put it simply, that one really sucked. 

Then I tried to pen a more clever response as to why the world will NOT end on Friday, December 21, 2012… that one sucked even worse. 

Something just didn’t seem right about answering with my usual “No, the end is not nigh” response, and I couldn’t quite put my finger on why.

Then I was struck by a new thought—“You know what? Why not say this IS the end?”

That’s right… I’m saying it.

The end is nigh, folks!  Armageddon is at hand!

Okay, it's probably not… but bear with me, here.  Don’t misunderstand… I’m not suggesting that you run out and spend your life savings on first aid supplies and canned meats.

Far from it.

I’m telling everyone to stop with the prepping… stop with the worrying… stop with the speculating… and get busy with the LIVING.  I think it’s totally irrelevant whether or not the end of the world is upon us, to be honest with you.

I mean… wouldn’t it be awesome if for the next couple of days we could all pretend that these are our last days on Earth?  Who cares if all this “TGIF 2012” insanity turns out to be “real” or not.  I’ve never been one to put much stock in “real” things.

Therefore… for the very first time (or is it the very last time?)… I’m not going to tell you all that this is not the end of all things.  I’m telling you we should just ACT like it’s the end.

What a beautiful thing it would be, in my humble opinion, if every single one of us could take this opportunity to live these next few days as if they are our last.  I can think of few things more joyous than to have the chance to live, for even but a day, as if there’s no tomorrow.

Between now and Friday… I challenge YOU, my fellow human, to live as you have never lived before.  Here are a few suggestions, just to get the ball rolling:
 
·         Take that risk you never took but always wished you had

·         Go on a trip to that place you’ve dreamed of visiting but have always postponed

·         Tell your children how much you love them and how proud of them you are

·         Make sure that the ones you love KNOW they are loved

·         If you don’t have someone to love… go out and find one

·         Give out free hugs

·         Forgive someone… and make sure they know it

·         For goodness sakes, call your mother!

·         Go talk to some old people… they have the best stories

·         Cross a thing or two off that bucket list of yours

I just cannot fathom how any of the above actions could do significant harm to anyone.  To me, these all sound like much better ways to spend your final days than buying more firearms, ammo, and cup ramen in preparation for an inevitable end that in reality you won’t be able to do a damn thing to stop.

Personally, if I flip on the news on Friday morning and Chris Hansen is telling viewers to place their heads between their legs and kiss their butts goodbye, I sure as hell don’t plan to waste another moment worrying about it.  Not… ONE … PRECIOUS… SECOND.  I will simply do as much living and loving as I am able in the time I have left.  The rest is up to God, as far as I am concerned.

[FYI – if you see me running by stark naked, wearing cheap sunglasses, carrying a large bottle of top shelf tequila, singing Bon Jovi’s ‘Blaze of Glory’ at the top of my lungs and heading for the nearest rooftop… well, you might (after you’re done recoiling in horror, of course) want to make your peace with whatever form of God you wish.  Or, for my atheist friends, just make peace.]

The nice thing is that we don’t even have to stop doing this after Friday!

If the day of reckoning comes and goes and all is the same as it ever was… just LIVE. Truly, passionately, and without reservation, I beg you to squeeze the very marrow of life from the bones of this existence with which we’ve all been blessed.

Live as you have never before lived, in the manner you have always wanted.  As long as it does no harm, then I say more power to you.

Love with all the passion in your heart… love until you’re exhausted.

And bollocks to all the rest.

I love you all… even those of you I’ve never met.

Now put down the SPAM, get off your butt, come out of your basement, and go do some living while there’s still living to be done!

I’ll be seeing everyone at the post-apocalyptic after party… again.  This will be the third time in my life that I’ve had the chance to attend a “Yay, the world didn’t end!” soirée.  And it probably won’t be the last.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Mythology of Supernatural, Bargain Sale on Amazon (and some other minor news)

Hey Folks,

I have not had very much time to devite to the blog, lately... apologies. But I assure you that it is for good reason.  If you've been paying attention to my Twitter or Facebook posts, then you already know that I have been in the process of hammering out a book proposal and sample chapter for a new project over the last month or two.

I will be posting more details regarding the new project when/if everything passes muster with the publisher.

In the meantime, I just wanted to let everyone know that The Mythology of Supernatural is currently available on Amazon at a Bargain Price of only $6.00. From what I understand, supplies are limited so if you want one you should go get it.

Here is the link: http://amzn.com/B0085S1ECM

All my best and I'm sorry for not posting much lately... but I promise to start posting more frequently here on the blog very soon.

And, as always, thanks for everyone's interest and support.

Nathan

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Mythology of Supernatural, Reader Question Response(s) #5

This installment of my Reader Question Response will be a bit of an omnibus. There have been a number of general questions I have received from readers over the last few months that have fairly simple answers, and don't really warrant separate blog posts.

Since all of the below Reader Questions are actually consolidations of various but similar questions asked by multiple readers, I won't be crediting the questions to anyone in particular as I usually do.

So, if one of these questions was/is yours, please do not be offended that I didn't call you out by name. That is not my intention... and feel free to claim it in the comments.

So, without further ado ... here are my responses.

Question 1: Will there be a new version/update to The Mythology of Supernatural?
To my knowledge, there are no current plans by the publisher to have me write a new version of the book. This doesn't mean it won't happen. It just means they haven't asked me to do one yet. Anything is possible, I guess. However, this is why I decided to post the Supernatural Updates here on my blog... just in case they don't. Also, just so you know ... if the publisher does ask me to write a new version of the book, I promise I will say "yes."

Question 2: When is your next book coming out?
To be honest, this has been a slow year (which is kind of nice, since last year was a bit crazy for me). However, I do have at least one semi-new title scheduled for release this year. The book will be my commercial rewrite of a text I originally worte for an academic audience: The Rape of Lilith. I will be rewriting this book, which is a comprehensive timeline that examines the mythical figure of Lilith from ancient mythology to her depictions in modern-day pop culture. As of right now, I plan to release the rewrite of The Rape of Lilith by october 15th 2012. I also have a new fiction project I am currently working on, and it's a concept that I am very excited about. Unfortunately, it's a bit too early for me to discuss any of the details here on the blog. When I get a bit closer to having a finished manuscript, I will see about posting some more info about that project. So it may be a month or two before I can really talk about it on the internet.

Question 3: Why haven't you done many lectures/public appearances this year?
Last year I did nearly a dozen public appearances, interviews, lectures, etc. ... which was far more than I had ever done... and I mean EVER... more than I had done in my entire previous career combined. And it really wiped me out. It was a lot of traveling and a lot of prep work, which kind of cut into my writing time. So I am trying to take it a bit easier this year. For now, I only have one appearance scheduled, for A-Kon 2012 in Dallas, TX (I will post more details about this as we get closer to the date). There have been some whispers about me attending Comic-Con San Diego this year at the Penguin/Berkley booth... but since there have been whispers about this for several years, and I have never actually been given a slot, I am trying not to get my hopes up.

Okay folks... these are my Reader Question Responses for now. I actually have a pretty cool mythology-related reader question that I plan to address later in the week.

Until then, stay cool my little chik-a-dees! Be well! And remember...

If you ever find yourself wondering "Why is that frisbee getting bigger?"
Don't think too hard and just be patient... it'll hit you.

As always, questions about the Mythology of Supernatural book and/or the mythology of something they have done on the show can be submitted to me here in the blog comments, in the "Discussion" section of my Amazon page (http://amazon.com/author/nathanrbrown), or via Tweet or DM on Twitter (Twitter ID: NatRBrown).

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Just Clearing Some Things Up!

Hello, folks.

So I am going to be posting a number of all-new, Supernatural related posts over the next three agonizing weeks, as we all wait for the show to return form yet ANOTHER break.

Is it just me, or have they done an unusually high number of breaks this season?

Anyway.

Lately, it seems there have been some rather interesting though somewhat incorrect things going around the internet regarding me. None of it is BAD, necessarily … and I certainly don’t want people to think that I get upset every time someone mentions me online. I do not. In fact, I encourage it.

By all means … mention my work online to your heart’s content.

Seriously, I can always use the publicity.

However, that being said, I do try to clear things up when things are posted online, about me or my work, that are inaccurate and/or misleading. Mainly because this prevents uncomfortable situations for me and my readers … especially in those times when I have been at public appearances and some poor misguide soul has stood up during the Q & A to blindside me with some weird question that I don't know how to answer without making him or her feel silly … which usually goes something like this:
“So I read this thing online that said you [insert rumor here]. Is that true?”

So … the point of today’s blog post is for me to clear up some of these things.

Misleading Internet Rumor #1: “Nathan Robert Brown is ‘close friends’ with Jensen Ackles.” (or “N. R. Brown works with Jensen Ackles”)
No … totally not true. I mean, I have nothing against the guy, but it’s not like the two of us hang out or have long chats on the phone.

I honestly think this rumor got started because, yes, I DID go to Apollo Junior High at the same time and in the same grade as Jensen Ackles. But that's where the connection between he and I ends.

When we were in the 7th grade, Jensen was a “cool kid” that the girls used to swoon over. And, back then anyway, I was a chubby socially awkward kid that the girls used to laugh at, if they noticed me at all. By the 8th grade, thank God, I had a growth spurt and did some weight lifting, and eventually managed to find a place for myself among the “metalheads” and misfits, whereas Jensen mainly hung out with the jocks and the “cool kids”.

So, even back in junior high, the two of us were not exactly friends. I have not even seen the guy since I was in the 9th grade, right before my parents shipped my trouble-making butt off to military school. And even then I just saw the guy in passing.

We are not buddies ... nor do we work together.

So ... please, please, PLEASE. Do not come to one of my appearances and ask me questions about Jensen Ackles (unless they’re related to the show or the book, of course). I have not seen him, aside from on a TV screen, in nearly 20 years … and I honestly have no idea what the guy is like these days.

I assume he’s still a good person.

Misleading Internet Rumor #2: “Nathan Robert Brown was once rescued from bullies by Jensen Ackles.”
Okay … this one is actually kind of true. But the whole thing was not quite as dramatic as it has been made to sound in most of the online forums.

Sigh … I guess I have no choice but to finally tell this story.

To be honest, I doubt that it was all that big of a deal to Jensen. But to me, at the time, it kind of was.

In the 7th grade, I was a new kid in a new school.

And it didn’t help that I was a chubby, socially awkward bookworm who spoke Japanese (in a place where NO ONE spoke it), talked about anime, and loved comic books. That was not a good year for me, needless to say. Pretty much the only thing I remember from the 7th grade is being “pantsed” in the hall, having my head shoved in toilets (“swirlies” they were called), and being a regular target for wedgies all the time.

And rarely, if ever, did anyone stick up for me.

Well, one day a group of jocks (who shall remain nameless) were in the process of shoving me into a bathroom stall, for yet another round of “Let’s stick the nerd’s head in the toilet and flush.”

At that moment Jensen and another kid, Chris Dowling (who, by the way, is now the director of the TV show Repo Games) just happened to be in the bathroom. Chris lived a few houses down from me back then, and I have to tell you that he is definitely one of the nicest and most talented people I have ever met.

“Come on, guys,” Chris said to them. “What are you doing to him?”

“We’re gonna shove his head in the toilet,” one of them replied.

“Why,” Jensen spoke up. “What did he do?”

“Nothing,” one of them laughed. “It’s just fun.”

“Let him go,” Chris told them.

“Seriously,” Jensen chimed in. “Five of you guys are gonna shove this poor kid around? What the hell? He can’t even fight back. That’s just stupid.”

Long story short … they let me go.

And that’s the story. Probably not quite as dramatic as what some people may be thinking. And, as I’ve already stated, this probably did not seem like a very big deal to either of them, Jensen or Chris. I highly doubt that either of them even remembers doing it.

But I have to admit that, at this time in my life, it was sort of a big deal to me… mainly because I was so grateful that I wasn't going to have to (yet again) go through the rest of my day with people asking me why my shirt was soaked.

Luckily, when I came back to school the next year I was nearly a foot taller, had been training to fight all summer, and was about 165 pounds of pure muscle. So I didn’t need much protecting by the time the 8th grade rolled around.

Misleading Internet Rumor #3: “Nathan Robert Brown is a ‘famous TV writer.’"
This is just completely untrue … I do not and have never written anything for television. It’s not that I am opposed to the idea or anything. I just have never had a reason or an opportunity to do so. Which is fine with me … I like writing books, because I know that people are going to read what I create. The only people who read what TV writers create are actors, producers, and the like. Nothing wrong with that...but I do prefer writing books.

In any case, I think I have finally figured out how this one got started. Apparently, a former student of mine (probably from back when I was a GTA teaching Freshman English at either Midwestern State or University of Texas Arlington) posted this on a Reddit forum.

I don’t think the student did this on purpose, though.

You see, I signed my contract to write The Mythology of Supernatural around the same time that I decided to abandon my plans to obtain a Ph.D., just taking the master’s degree I already had and running like hell.

I explained to my Freshman English students at the time that they would be my last class for a while, possibly ever, because I was leaving academia for a job in the private sector as a Tech Writer. I also told them that I had gotten a new book contract. Some students asked me what Supernatural was, and I explained to them that it was a TV show. Apparently, this particular student was confused and thought that I was leaving the university to go write for a TV show instead of just writing a book about a TV show.


Well…those are about as many internet rumors as I have the energy to address for now.

I will be posting both a reader response and a Mythology of Supernatural update later on this week.

As always … thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU.

Sincerely, thank you for the support and interest in what I do!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Mythology of Supernatural Update: My Two-Part Apology


I would like to begin my two part apology by saying that you are all very kind attractive people, and that I have nothing but love for all of you.

Part 1:
Some of you may remember that last week I promised that this week I would do two Mythology of Supernatural update posts in addition to a reader question response. What I didn’t realize was that I was about to be hit with a double whammy of bronchitis and a sinus infection.

Needless to say … none of what I had planned to do got done this week. And for that I am truly sorry.

Part 2:
My self-inflicted sentence for letting everyone down this week, however, will be for me to attempt to post something everyday next week (meaning Monday-Friday).

So … again … I am really sorry that I have not posted as I intended. But I will back to normal soon, and I should be able to get back to my regularly scheduled postings.

As always, thanks so much for everyone’s support!

See everyone for live tweets tonight during Supernatural!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sorry Folks


Hey everyone,

My most sincere apologies for not having posted a Mythology of Supernatural update in a while.

First, I realized that I didn't really have much to add to the conversation on the subject of Kronos... at least, not anything that couldn't be just as easily found with a simple google search anyway.

Then we had another hellatus.

And now that I need to research and write my post on the lore of Amazonian women, I am just really busy and preoccupied with other stuff.

So ... I am VERY, VERY, VERY sorry that I haven't posted that yet. I will try my best to get it posted up before tomorrow's new episode of Supernatural.

And I will even make a deal with you ... if I fail to post the new update tomorrow, I will post two updates next week as well as a Reader Question Response (I have a few of those that I have been meaning to answer, anyway).

So do we have a deal?

My thanks to everyone, as always, for your interest in and support of the work I do...whether that's Supernatural-related or just my writing/books in general. Without you folks, I would be out of a job. And you are VERY appreciated.

I am out of this hizzee!