[10/03/2016 22:51 pdt]

Considering all of the bullshit this site has endured, all of the staff and logistical changes, and the many format and theme changes throughout the past fourteen years, a bounce rate of ~63% is not terrible. We would love to see the visitor and bounce numbers to both be in the stratosphere, but for a tiny organization like RSE the figures are decent. Readership is at an all-time high (which is really not saying much at all) and new visitors continue to pop up. Hmm.

The staff has recently expanded by one member, and this is something which does not happen often. Not only are we very restrictive with regard to who we allow in the office, but the very idea of bringing in another technician from the outside is very difficult. The words which appear on these many pages are held tightly by both us and admin, but underneath is a vast storehouse of information, decades old. We protect this with our very lives and are dedicated to admin's vision and property in a manner which defies definition. All of us are connected on a deep level and to open this organization to another is a complex process.

Throughout the past several months we have agonized, scrutinized, and streamlined this person for the reasons stated above, and we can now call them a member of the Coma family.

Welcome. Just don't piss him off.

On the Clodmaster front, more critical parts are being manufactured as we type and the result should be a nice expansion to the section. The previous update included the new 60-page indexing and further backend work to support what we hope will finally be the vehicle on wheels. This step has been a long process and we are happy to see it happen.

The Slipper, the Brunette, and the Bubble

 read ( words)

"Just across the console was a vision, and she slouched down into the seat like a hand into a black leather glove. The diminutive amber lamp above the shifter illuminated one side of her beautiful face, and it was enough to see the glow in her eye -- and the devilish curves of her eyebrow. Squinting slightly, smiling, and staring back at us... She was the very definition of a dangerous escape. There was simply no end to the fantastically dark beauty within that seat. We were together within the dim confines of one of the representative creations which still defines us... The glass Slipper. This was the beginning.

The car was sitting outside one of NASA's ballistic ranges on a cool October evening. We had strolled along the length of the HF3 and then toured around the Vertical Gun only to end up back at the car as the sun dropped below the coast range. The tint on the car windows subtracted enough outside light to create a dark mood among the black trim. Even the glass roof was tinted. The passenger compartment was somewhat confining but we sat there comfortably despite the very narrow wells and high thresholds. She slid down in the curved seat far enough to force her slender knees up to the dash. She placed her hand on her mouth and smiled with the smile of Satan awaiting a kill. Her large eyes spoke sentences and we were simultaneously frightened and enamored. She had a calculating look about her, and sitting in that black seat with the gentle lighting appeared surreal somehow, and our mind found difficulty in grounding itself. We could only stare and be amazed at the combination of sights before us. The entire picture of her wearing leather and sitting in leather was enthralling. She controlled us immediately with her eyes. The car enveloped her and she enveloped us in a way difficult to describe. The leather and glass became a world in and of itself... Daily life melted into her eyes and their wondrous appearance. And right now we can state that the day in question became one of only two occasions when her gorgeous self was within the gorgeous vehicle. Although we can envision each moment in stark, colorful detail, the time was already short.


We remained in the car for quite a while, and discussed aspects of the ranges as well as the fire which was developing between ourselves. That subject took the lead and as the evening rolled on we found that it was important enough to warrant backing off the flames until we could understand the feelings. She slumped even further toward the dash and looked right at home inside that car. We offered to leave and take the conversation elsewhere but she stated that the seat was cozy and there was no reason to move at all. We also agreed that the only thing missing was a bit of alcohol. On government property, however, consuming alcohol is not a good idea so we waited.

Her striking beauty was enough to force us to consider what we may have thrown into the wind in order to be near her and see it every day. We took every single opportunity to stare at her from the driver's seat and attempt to absorb each detail. Her tapered fingers played with her hair and occasionally grazed her lips as they curved slightly downward at the edges. As we looked upon her while she spoke we realized that the danger was not only her beauty, but the resulting damage we were more than able to incur just to be in a position to appreciate all that she was. Thoughts, opinion, the fact that she felt displaced within society (just as ourselves), and her savage feelings toward others drew us absolutely. We were feeling desire beyond belief and this pushed us into the realm of unclear thinking. That would be another beginning, and the period to which we refer is still happening. We are in it, all the way. Because of our past reckless behavior, the thought of heading in such a direction yet again helped us to consider her beauty as something from which we should learn, and at a pace we could follow.

Unfortunately, the clarity did not last nor did we attempt to regain our direction.

That afternoon and evening within the confines of the glass Slipper became a holy memory and one we wished to repeat over and over. To such an end, we told her in no uncertain terms that she was the car's twin -- in a manner of speaking -- and we desired the combination like nothing else on earth. She was taken aback, but then took us in hand with her amazing eyes staring all the while. We proceeded to drive out the gate and into a terrible situation. We say that because after that day our decision-making process suffered badly. The entirety of our lives took a sharp turn and we descended into a pit of passionate misdirection. She began to become everything -- just as the car a few months earlier -- and there was little we would avoid to be with her. We needed the beauty near us and all other aspects of life took a back seat. Other writings have mentioned the fallout and to this moment it continues. She was the beginning of all of it.

The look of her eyes, eyebrows and mouth is difficult to describe. She had somewhat of a combination between Annabella Sciorra's eyebrows and eyes, along with the downward-curving lips of Lorraine Bracco. When she smiled, holy shit did the feelings flow. We longed to stare at her face forever. Just stare, endlessly. While in the Slipper she was easily another decoration along with the wondrous layout of the interior -- the best decoration.

Corvette 3

The car represented so many things at that time. We dreamed of it year after year and as far back as the first few sightings, which were somewhere around 1991. Early confusion brought more sightings than were even possible but we later learned that they were few and far between, even then. Various opportunities throughout the years allowed us to understand more about what GM did in the beginning to ensure an ambiguous separation between models. We will avoid going into extreme detail, but suffice to say the model was quite different from the standard Corvette of the same year. The small exterior changes which were made to facilitate a more powerful engine and wider rear tires pushed the appearance into the territory of dreams. For whatever reason, we absolutely fell in love upon first learning of this model and as the years flew by we sighted them from time to time and dreamed. The entire rear of the car was wider by three inches and the third brake light was moved from between the taillights to the roof. This gave the lights and rear fascia a much wider appearance, and the tires beneath added to this. Overall, the comparison of this option package to the standard package pushed us into the stratosphere with regard to our desire.

With other vehicles in our past, the interior was always equal to the exterior. That was the place within which we relaxed while driving. Others may go on at length about the importance of the outer look regarding status, financial position, etc., but the inside of the car is where the time is spent. The entire purpose of a motor vehicle is to get from place to place either as quickly as possible, or simply quicker than transportation modes of yesteryear. Style, of course, is a foundation of the industry and seeing a car which brings a smile is certainly important to some. The inside design of the Slipper was apparent for us years earlier during the road races in Nevada. Many of those cars were entered yearly, and due to acquaintances of ours we were able to sit and gaze at their machines. Those early views of the car's interior, controls, instrumentation, and overall layout brought us wonder like never before. Even now we can feel the comfort of driving that black beauty to work the first morning, in the dark, and enjoying the glow. There was -- and is -- nothing comparable in this world.

Aside from seeing the ZR-1 from time to time on the roadways, there was an occasion in which we decided to head to a dealer in hopes of seeing the model closely. A bright red example was sitting quietly in the showroom and we were all over it. The salesman approached and proceeded to give us an overview of the differences both apparent and hidden. Aside from the exterior described briefly above, there were many small additions to the car which pushed it into being vastly upgraded from the standard L98 model. We will not go into detail for fear of readers' eyes glazing over, however suffice to say it quickly aligned to our loves and desires within the automobile industry. From specialized manufacturing locations to subtle details within the passenger compartment, we were all in -- there had been no other vehicle on earth which seemed to hold our interest as strongly. All of these years later and we feel the same. Sightings are fewer, and our love is greater, but possibilities are nonexistent. The loss of such a vehicle was a tremendous blow to our quality of life, and during the past several years since it disappeared we have dropped even further. And we drop still.

Corvette 2

The Brunette and the Corvette matched perfectly -- from being exotic, dangerous, and beautiful, to representing complexity, adventure, and escape.

Within the confines of the car we were hidden for all intents and purposes. The windows were quite dark due to the previous owner's tastes, and we sunk into the seat as per the design. Corvettes are known for being low and sleek, and the fourth generation body style enjoyed a longer, more raked windshield and lower floorboard. The thresholds were high and wide (they were a part of the structural integrity) and coupled with the low floor created a 'well' in which the driver and passenger sunk while seated. At night this layout was amplified by the darkness and amber lighting and provided a cocoon-like atmosphere within. Every aspect of the interior and passenger positioning combined for a driving experience which aligned with our needs like none other.

Along similar lines of thinking, while we were with her we felt as if there was a sort of 'bubble' floating through society, within which the two of us resided. From place to place, we moved throughout streets and people but all the while we were in a space no one else could inhabit. We remained in that bubble for as long as possible. It brought each of us comfort and security, and provided a sort of separation between us and the sheep all around. Often we agreed that space was critical for the time and considering the difficulties we were each enduring plus those which we created. The place we needed to be, and the place no one else was allowed... It was our world. Just us. There was a sort of 'knowing' we shared while out in public. For whatever reason, thoughts of the others around us seemed to align and our feelings toward all of them were very similar. Also, neither of us wished to be near young people and typically drove ourselves into places advertising an adult-type of atmosphere. No matter where we went, the ideas were aligned. This is something we still do not fully understand, and the same type of combination took place while in the company of the Raven.

Once trip in particular comes to mind... The Winter of ten brought us to the Salton Sea together for the purpose of escaping daily life coupled with our love for photography. Of course, a few of these subjects have been explored in past essays here, while still more are in the pipeline. [Also, one single piece devoted to the entire trip will soon be displayed.] While hundreds of miles from home, the bubble did follow. It kept us comfortable in the strangest and most off-path locations while we traveled. Even in the tiny town of Salton Sea Beach, the one restaurant/bar was a bit on the rough side but we felt just fine walking in and spending lunch there. We were within that space that did not exist when we were apart. Despite how the area appeared at first glance, we were confident spending time there. That place was all ours, no matter the circumstances.

The fucking bubble is gone, just as the Slipper. While we had both... Bliss. When the first was taken away... Sadness. And the loss of the second? Well, the pain and daily remembrances are still there. Now we sit with the staff and attempt to hold ourselves up just as anyone in charge of a group. Considering last year's loss, the fact that we are above ground at all is a fucking miracle. That was a devastation we cannot easily describe. The Slipper and the bubble are very different from that hellish period last year, but still they are difficult reminders of where we were for a time. Those were wonderful places, and that is a gross understatement. We seem to be three for three, as it were. Not good.

The bubble

So here we are after all this time, writing about it at length. Why? There is nothing else during these late days. The writing has become all.

We were enveloped, encapsulated, within these things and now the feeling is nakedness. In public? Worse. The past efforts we took in order to find cover in any situation (cover, as the military calls it, is any way of blending while remaining hidden from view) had tapered off during the time spent either within the bubble, the Slipper, or even in the company of the Raven, and we now are bare in the world of the others. The only hiding place seems to be the cocooned office. Yes, there is glass all around in this office. The open nature of the staff dictates a group feeling as a necessity. The need for cover has returned, no matter where we are. At this point in the year, the days are shortening which means more night. This is another form of cover which we have always found comfort within, and yet another reason for our endless ranting about spring and summer. Back in the 2003 archive is a bit of a description of finding comfort within the open atmosphere of a restaurant. That feeling has also returned. We need to be hidden due to the lack of all that we had during those recent periods.

The belief now -- in order to continue moving in a forward direction -- is to spend time away from the office and the home. Rare has become the time when we are not in one of those two locations, and we need to get away from everything familiar for a period in order to maintain some sort of structure within the realm of reading and writing. Yes, we can write anywhere, but the staff's support on a daily basis need not become a crutch. We should be able to venture into the mountains or overseas and continue for a time without incident. All of the fears and trepidations inherent in our memories and how they relate to the outside world may fade for a bit if we branch into something else. Also, the possibility of a different type of 'bubble' -- or better yet another type of Raven -- cannot be denied even if the odds are astronomical (and they are, for fuck's sake)."