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Disclaimer: If you are easily offended by sheer honesty, or you think me having my own opinions is "being negative", then this is not the place for you, and I suggest you leave and head elsewhere. I call a spade a spade, and I don't sugarcoat anything.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Interest In Natural Disasters

Lately I have been running all my movies and documentaries relating to natural disasters. I have all kinds of DVDs about that stuff. Especially Mount St. Helens, the Asian tsunamis and Hurricane Katrina. I watch things like this all the time, and they do scare me, but at the same time I am fascinated by them. I was just remembering the events that led up to my interest in natural disasters, because I used to not care anything about them. That was a long time ago. Now, I am more fascinated by natural disasters than I am with modern mammals. My timeline to my interest in these phenomena is actually quite an interesting path.

My sis Anna was always fascinated by natural disasters, but it took me years to catch on to that interest. I should start by saying I have always been fascinated by animals though, but my interest in evolution also got a late start. It started in 1992. I was a kooky kid, starting to look for herself in a career. I used to laugh at the thought of evolution, and had a deep resentment for the theory because I was the model Christian. I believed solely in GOD and that HE created the Earth and the Heavens in just 7 plain days. Well, I got a job as a nanny with a couple named Patti and Chris and their 2 children, Jenna and Larissa. They treated me well while I was there, though Patti was always on edge and rather bitchy. She didn't start out that way though, just that she suffered from migraines a lot. Well, as my time progressed, I began to notice a bit more of an edginess to their behavior, but I simply thought it was because Patti's mom and dad were coming for a few weeks from Hawaii, and I figured they were getting everything (including me) prepared for their arrival, and I tried to get along the best I could.

Well, long story short, I had a series of dreams where I was mistreated and then kicked out of their house and that job. It may have messed me up psychologically, but I just knew something was going to happen, and it was going to happen before Patti's parents arrived. Sure enough, I was released from that job the day before Patti's parents were due to arrive. But frankly I didn't feel bad about being released. I was angry at the way I was released. Apparently their kids said stuff about me, some of which was true and I did confess to, but some was untrue and when I tried to give Patti and Chris my side of the story, they accused me of "making excuses". Which was not what I was trying to do. I merely felt that I should tell them that some of the things their kids said about me was not true. One of the things the kids said about me that was not true, I could see them making the mistake because it was similar to how they explained it, but it just did not happen exactly how they explained it. I felt berated by them, I felt like a lower life form, and I was mad because they believed things about me that I never did. So I got my things and left.

Before I took that job, I had just gotten into listening to music. I loved such groups as Roxette, MC Hammer and New Kids on the Block, and even INXS. Roxette was my all-time favorite at that time, I saw Per Gessle the same way as I see Timmy today. After I was released from that job, I wanted nothing around me that even so much as reminded me of my time on that job. That's how pissed off I had gotten. So that meant throwing out all my posters and pictures of Roxette, MC Hammer and New Kids on the Block. Kept my pics of INXS though, and the only reason I did not throw them out was because I was not that heavily into them at the time I had that job as I was to the other groups and singers I liked. I even put away my pics of Dian Fossey for the same reason. I even sold all my birds that I had back then. It was like I wanted to completely wipe my life's slate clean and start all over again.

I did have one interest back then that I could use to start over again. I'd developed a fetish for Batman. So much so, that I began to write my own series of stories back then (with a friend) for UMG Productions. Instead of using Batman characters the way they are in their own comic strips, I used UMG characters. But that wasn't good enough back then, because I was limited to animals and creatures that are around today, not many of which were impressive enough to portray Batman characters. So, I decided to create my own animals. At first, they started out just being a few animals that I based on Batman characters, and used just for the stories. Then my interest grew from that. Most of the animals I created at first were lemurs, because lemurs are more flexible and acrobatic, and I was most fascinated by them. I did not really care about making these lemurs "scientifically accurate" because my main interest back then was only in creating characters for the stories I was writing. The stories with Batman characters. That was in 1992.

Oh and BTW, I never got back into Roxette, MC Hammer or New Kids on the Block again. But I am still a loyal fan of INXS. I did briefly get back into Roxette just after Michael died, but it was not as strong a feeling as I'd had before I took that job with Patti and Chris. And that infatuation only lasted a very short while. Like a few days at most.

In 1993, while creating some images of these new species of lemurs, I thought back to a group of mammals that I imagined up when I was in the 3rd grade. They were just imaginary creatures I created in my head, but they were also for the same reason I created these lemurs...for the sake of the stories I was writing back then (or helping to write). Well, I decided to "revive" them, so I made some drawings of these animals, and wrote out their life "script", depicting their behavior, habits and climate preferations. They became the Therapeds and Deinognathids. I did not put them together with the lemurs I created before, they stood in a class by themselves. I wanted to do a little something different with these two families than I did with the lemurs. I wanted to make them a little more scientifically accurate. At first I called them "hypothetical prehistoric beasts". Then I thought that was too far-fetched. Instead I called them "Futuristic hypothetical beasts". That way I would not have to explain to people why these animals are not buried in the fossil records. Then I thought "wouldn't this be great if I could create a whole world of animals like these that nobody has seen before and never will see in their lifetime?" Then I went to a used book store and found a copy of Dougal Dixon's After Man: A Zoology of the Future and read it from cover to cover. It sparked a bigger interest in me than was there previously. It also lit up an interest in evolution that was not there before. Before this, I used to hate hearing about evolution. Now, I could not get enough of it! The possibilities are endless!

In 1994, after reading Dixon's book, I had developed another interest, it was the predatory rats the book talks about. I like rats! I also know they are well on their way to becoming dominant among small predators. I've even seen and heard of rats that can kick a cat's ass! So, it was not too unfeasible to think rats could someday become the World's top predators. My interest in evolution began to grow, and I began creating more species for an era that I christened "the Metazoic", and I still use that name for that project to this day.

OK, by now I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "What has all this got to do with the title of this post?" Well, I am getting to that point right now. I still work on my Metazoic species to this day, and I still have an interest in evolution. I no longer look at the theory and laugh anymore. Now, I look at it in amazement. Creating new species of Metazoic mammals means creating new lives, lifestyles, and interesting new forms. Forms that do not exist in today's world. Or if they do, have a whole new species and family performing these tasks that make up an ecosystem. This led to the interest I have today in natural disasters. Well, actually natural occurences. Not disasters. Because if humans were not here, they would not be considered "disasters". But it is these natural calamities that shape our world. Earthquakes, volcanos, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornados, and many other natural events, they all have a hand in shaping our world. You could say it was my interest in evolution that shaped my interest in natural disasters. My interest in natural disasters started in 1996, after seeing some of Anna's specials about Mount St. Helens. Someone said "This is how the northwest was created", and that really got me started. Imagine a world of volcanos, actively throwing out lava and ash, creating new worlds, new lands, kinda makes global warming seem like a minor problem. For every land that is flooded, volcanos will create new lands for the upcoming new generation of animals to thrive in. It's a beautiful thought.

All this got started because I did not succeed in my first job with Patti and Chris. This is why I am not bitter about being released from that job. It's actually had the biggest hand in shaping who I am today.
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