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About travlbug

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    Books, music, old radio shows, travel, food, the occasional movie.

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  1. travlbug

    Chapter 11

    Interesting that Amara screams when Aria has a panic attack, suggesting that Aria has never had one before (and all it took to trigger was a visit from his mother--a woman who can now be said to leave panic in her wake!). However, Drew has clearly assisted in treating panic before, as he knows how to talk Aria back to normalcy. (He says that he got the training in "security school," but I'm not sure I buy that, with a portion of his past still unknown.) I'm curious as to the motive behind the threats. A professional would kill the boys and be done with it. An extortionist would make his demands known. At this time, the perpetrator seems intent on promoting terror, but his (her) true goal is not yet clear.
  2. travlbug

    A Silent Escape

    While Rulf no longer has Arabella, he seems to realize that Esthor would make a lovely consolation prize. Yes! Pepin has found the book of cures! However, we still don't know if it holds the answer that Esthor needs. Now that Prince Terryn knows how cruel King Norrius can be, I wonder if relations between the two kingdoms will be affected.... Oops! Shade on the loose! Will she simply disappear, or does she have a larger role to play as our story unfolds? And Pepin, where's that Pepsi?
  3. travlbug

    Chapter 31

    I have never before seen muffins used as a weapon of revenge! Zombie stories? Never touch 'em. 😏 Troy, congratulations on becoming the new chauffeur! And congrats to Adam, who has been given the all-clear to go back to doing what comes naturally. You wasted no time! 😊
  4. travlbug

    Chapter 10

    Recipe for zombie croquettes: Use 4 sticks of butter, though dynamite may be substituted. Thoroughly dice the zombie with harvester blades (use rusty blades for a more piquant flavor). Serve warm on a bed of debris. For more zombie recipes, please stay tuned....
  5. travlbug

    Chapter 9

    While we know that Kiyo is doing research on treating CVID, there isn't enough money to be made from a specialty-market drug to make it his only concern. He must be researching additional projects involving immunity, and I'd love to know what kind of projects would require a hidden laboratory and a steel door.
  6. travlbug

    A Guest of Honor

    As Esthor, in his fairyfly form, escaped even Khalgon's notice, he would make a very good spy indeed if the need ever arises. I wonder if Esthor can perform magic while a fairyfly.... Just what is a fairyfly anyway? I hope Prince Terryn is as curious as I think he is, as we have a hallway to explore! And where can you go in this kingdom to get an ice-cold Pepsi?
  7. travlbug

    Chapter 49

    Awww. After Kohen's little faux pas on the bridge, I felt sure that someone was in for a spanking. Glad that Everett and Kohen found another way to relieve the tension.
  8. travlbug

    Chapter 9

    I love the idea of a log for the aircraft sightings: It could demonstrate if the flights are random or showing a pattern. It might also suggest a general direction from which the flights are emanating. Additional anomalies, such as the excess speed which Bennie observed, may also come to light, either helping to elucidate the mystery or making it even more impenetrable. Richie is right in that they need more data.
  9. travlbug

    Chapter 9

    Zombie flambe made for a lovely visual. Now I'm in the mood for Smores!
  10. travlbug

    Chapter 13

    I’m devastated. Ehren’s spirit has been broken. He’s become apathetic and self destructive, his view of reality warped. However, the problem is acute, not chronic, so the problem is not a true depression (yet). His apathy/detachment is clear. Instead of becoming annoyed by Beth’s on-road parenting, he finds it “tiresome.” Instead of engaging with Tris, he tells himself that he has to leave. He receives multiple texts from those who love him, but he doesn’t even bother to read them (“better to let it lie"). His perception has become faulty--self defeating--altering his behavior. He avoids Tris on the way to his classroom, as “he'd no likely be upset with me.” Despite seeing Tris standing up to the parents on his behalf, Ehren thinks that, as he “had been unable to swallow the events at the Malones...I don't see how he could forgive that.” Despite knowing that Tris loves him and doesn't see him at fault, Ehren sees himself as unforgivable, fueling his decision to leave. He goes further, justifying his decision to abandon Tris with self pity instead of truth: “He deserved more than I could give him and so his parents had been right. I'd never go to school and always be an economic weight around their son's shoulders. I'd likely be a social weight as well, forever dragging him down.” Ironically, Ehren sees no parallel between Tim’s handling of Tris and his own: Tim deliberately pushes Tris away under false pretences (not reality based) for his own purposes. Ehren deliberately pushes Tris away because of his false viewpoint (not reality based), keeping Tris in the dark as to his motivation, just as Tim does. Ehren faults Tim for not respecting Tris by taking his choice away, not realizing that he is doing the exact same thing--i.e., taking away Tris’s choice about their relationship. In discussing Tim's confession. Ehren says, “You're telling all of this to the wrong person”; but in fact, he is exactly the right person to tell: Tim provides Ehren with a tragic example of what happened when he foolishly pushed Tris away--just what Ehren is doing now. He is like Morley’s ghost, providing a warning while there’s still time for Ehren to change. Yet, Ehren doesn't heed the warning: He does the opposite, seeking out the coach to obtain money for his escape. (Scumbag Belcher is even more of a scumbag than I thought, not only exploiting an underage student--on school property no less--but also de facto recruiting him for a purveyor of internet smut.) The story concludes with Ehren so emotionally damaged that he turns his back on those who love him to make a “deal" with a presumed kiddie porn website owner. His self-destructive tendencies are winning out, and at this point, I’m almost afraid to read the next chapter. (But I will.)
  11. travlbug

    All That Matters

    "No, no," "Yes, yes": Carter and Aron certainly have a way with words! Wow! Carter has a built -in taser for if he tries to reveal the truth to Aron. So, if he remains quiet, he gets Aron and unlimited sex, but if he spills, he gets zapped. Celestial behavior modification at its finest! Mark, were you peeking while Carter and Aron were making memories? How else would you know when to trigger the taser? (Tough job! ) Carter, you may be on the receiving end of some fringe benefits, but your mind has changed as much as your body: "Aron was happy. It was all that mattered." Maybe the body swap was not about you after all!
  12. travlbug

    Chapter 8

    Oops! Didn't realize it was so close to the house. However, why would Richie want the dynamite out of the silo but then keep it in blast range of the silo?
  13. travlbug

    Chapter 8

    Since Richie and Jeremy elected to leave the dynamite outside, I wish they had booby-trapped it in some way. A curious zombie would then be a dead zombie. I don't know what the zombie would do if it found the dynamite sans blasting caps; but frankly, I don't want to find out.
  14. travlbug

    Veikko - "All Of You"

    I love this chapter! 😍 This latest episode shows Veikko on an emotional roller coaster: As the chapter opens, Veikko is recording his vlog: He’s in a good mood and in fine form. (Reima, the older twin, is just the draft copy? Priceless.) Interestingly, while Veikko finds it hard to speak of important things in person, he can do so in his vlog–talking about Dom, Topher, Maverick, and even Jonna–and the vlog seems cathartic for him. (Sadly, in person, “eye contact was something he didn't do anymore,” so the vlog truly gives him a way to connect with people without having to do it personally. Thus, while cathartic, the vlog may not be the most healthy way for him to express himself.) Even after he finishes the vlog, he remains happy, and his love for Reima is apparent in their banter. (By the way, Reima is very good natured indeed to allow Veikko to film him in his undies–not even the “sexy” ones–but he draws the line at showing his feet!) Then, in a horrific juxtaposition, Ms. Daivari comes to dinner to discuss bad news, sending Veikko crashing back to earth: "So, Jackson will be released on parole in just under two weeks…. He can't come within five hundred meters of any of you, though, thanks to the restraining order.” Unfortunately, a restraining order is only as valid as an individual’s wish to honor it, so if Jackson wants to finish what he started, there’s really nothing to stop him, if he doesn’t fear the consequences. As Veikko thinks, “While that man lived, he would never feel safe again. Not really.” He hyperventilates in “pure terror,” though Reima calms him down. Perhaps because of the imminent danger, Veikko may be on the edge of a breakthrough: He has never before come clean to a psychologist, but for Ms. Daivari, he will think on it: He says, “"If you come with me, and Rei too, maybe I'll give it a go. A real go.” Thus, instead of the minor catharsis of the vlogs, he may finally be ready to heal. Veikko transitions back to happy when Maverick contacts him, but a secret is revealed: “‘How are you?’ Veikko asked. He'd visited early on Saturday morning out of concern for Maverick's well-being, but that was a secret. Dom could never know about that. He would never forgive him.” The reader learns that Veikko actually does make a hospital visit to see Maverick, but the reader is also aware that Maverick has already betrayed the confidence, trying to manipulate Topher with the information. In fact, with the reader aware that Maverick is a psychopath working against Veikko’s best interests (or rather, working for his own best interests), their decision to become boyfriends has all the earmarks of a slow-motion train wreck: While Veikko may presently be happy, there is sure to be a reckoning. For Veikko, two major, perhaps life-altering, events are presented in this chapter: His father is being released from prison, and Maverick becomes his boyfriend. How either of these events will play out for him is presently a mystery, but I think I can be forgiven for having a very bad feeling.... 😱
  15. travlbug

    Chapter 8

    You can't make a toast with a syringe! Yuki is so hopeful on behalf of his son, but I'm not sure it's a good sign that he ignores Milan's wishes to address his overall health. Rory, you're making Milan's heart race. Now that's a good sign!

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