Aubrie Lee

Namer by trade, engineer by training, artist at heart.

_@aubrielee.com

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about me

I have a rare form of muscular dystrophy. The more I use my muscles, the weaker they get. Not every disabled person likes to be asked about their disabilities, but if you meet me, you're welcome to ask me questions. Some of the basics:


  • I can’t smile. If you smile at me and I don’t smile back, I’m not mad at you. Probably.

  • I’m hard of hearing. I rely on closed captions and lip reading.

  • I have an accent of sorts. Ironically, even though I read lips, my lips don’t move when I talk. It may take you some time to understand my speech.

  • I’ve been using a wheelchair full-time since I was a teenager. People tend to stand to my side when they talk to me, but it’s tough for me to turn my body to face them. You can face me directly, don’t worry. If you’re worried about being run over, I’m actually less likely to run you over if you’re where I can see you.

The signs of my designs are chirality, tapers, and inversions.


  • Chirality is a concept I first learned in my premed studies. Like a person’s two hands, molecules can be mirror images of each other. Chiral forms are alike but unique. When I use spirals in my work, I’m very conscious of whether they’re right-handed or left-handed.

  • Tapers are gradients of size. I use tapers in serpent tails and kite points.

  • Inversions are rotationally symmetric. A cubic curve looks the same when viewed at 0º as at 180º. My signature is an ambigram—it can never be upside-down.

by me

Writing prompts from author Bret Anthony Johnston. Spend a few minutes describing:

  • A strange experience in a car.
  • A strange experience in a restaurant.
  • How the color blue would taste, smell, sound.
  • An amusement park with an odd theme; focus on one of the rides.
  • A person’s physical characteristics in terms of food.
  • A safe space.
  • What you’d like to dream about tonight.
  • Being trapped underneath a saggy mattress by a dead body.
  • Things you find most tempting.
  • A conflict over an umbrella.
  • An incident underwater.
  • Things you keep in your purse or pocket (or backpack).
  • A science fiction story set in the White House.
  • Your arrival at a party where every guest is naked except for you. What do you do?


Bo for Blue

2014.06.24


You, there. You weren’t supposed to see my porticalivolizzer. What? No, it’s not an umbrella. It’s a Model 24-6 porticalivolizzer. And of course I’m supposed to stand inside it. Clearly you don’t understand how personal teleporters work. No, you can’t try it right now because I’m on an important mission.

Man, I thought this restaurant dumpster would be a safe space to point port. Well, now that you know I’m an alien, what are you gonna do? …Oh, sure, you can come along. You don’t have one of those homes to go back to? Well, just don’t go messin’ up my mission by crying or whatever it is you sapien kids do.

You really want to know? I’m not supposed to talk about it. It’s highly classified stuff. Highly classified. Okay, I’ll tell you. I’m a secret agent sent to capture Potus’s dog. No, not “the” Potus. That’s his name—Potus. What do you mean, his name is Obama? All right, kid, believe what you want.

I won’t tell you what planet I’m from. I’m a secret agent, remember? My commander told me that this mission is of critical importance, and if I don’t do it wrong, I’ll finally earn my gentian badge. Hmm? Oh, no, I don’t have any other badges. The gentian badge is the lowest-level one. But shut your mouth about it, I’m going to get it this time.

You’re hungry? You know what, me, too. Let’s hope the inside of this restaurant is prettier than its dumpster.


These sugar packets are delicious. I’ll give Earth that much—y’all know how to flavor your ingestibles. Back on Tiolun, all we have is nutritionally complete water. Hey, what’s the matter, kid? Let me pay the bill first. Check it out: these marbles will morph into whatever shape I want. I think ten dollars and forty-six cents is in order.

Ok, kid, what was the hurry back there? The waiter seemed normal enough to me. Claws bursting out the heels of his shoes, huh? And then you saw him crunch a cook’s neck like a juice box? Well, that ain’t related to my mission. Let’s go for a car ride.

The problem with teleporting is you don’t get to enjoy the views. You go from point A to point B without any of the decimals in between. Of course letters have decimals. You have to try to stop thinking like a sapien, kid. Maybe then you’ll get a gentian badge, too.


Taxi! Hi, can you take us to the park? Yes, that one.

Look out the window, kid. I’ll tell ya, when you’re traveling out in space, you never get to see such a pretty parallax effect. Just glorious.

Oh yeah, driver? You get me? Ah, you’re from Geuragoc! Nice. I’m from Tiolun. How long have you been on this side of the multiverse? Wow, that’s a long time. Don’t you miss home after six hundred years? Oh, wow, I’m sorry to hear that. I didn’t know. Guess news and time don’t sync across teleportals. Do you think any of the others survived? If I see them, I’ll tell them where to find you. And no matter where they are, they’ll always live on inside you. Oh, you ate them? Well, at least you got to be with them in their last moments.

Thanks for the ride. How much do I owe you? Sorry, I’m gonna keep the kid. Have a marble.


Don’t look so stricken, you wanted to come along. Are you afraid the driver was going to eat you? No? Then what? Oh, I didn’t even notice. You should point it out to me next time. I would have wanted to see his pigeon foot collection.

Here we are—the amusement park for dogs. And since it’s on the beach, there’s no better place to find that rosy, concentrated wet-dog smell. I have it on good authority that Potus’s pooch will be here in twenty minutes. Okay, I’m just guessing. But to catch your target, you’ve got to understand your target, and this is where we’re going to study.

This place is packed. Who would have thought that sapiens would spend so much money and effort on a species other than their own? Those roller coasters look pretty fun, but too bad we won’t fit in them. Quite ingenious how they managed to make roller coaster cabs for dogs. You want to go in the water? Sure, I’ll come with you.

The ocean waves on Earth are so funny. It’s as if someone shook a bucket, and the water never stopped moving. Tiolun’s oceans don’t crash like that. They just spin. Kind of like the water in those white bathroom bowls that sapiens use to do their laundry.

So what do you like about Earth? Yeah, that’s true, I guess you don’t have anything else to compare it to. But at least you seem to be allowed to do what you want, and you’re only a youngling. On Tiolun, only the wrinkled world leaders have that kind of freedom. Then they decide what the rest of us have to do.

They told me I had to be an agent. It wouldn’t be so bad—I was even excited at first—but you see, my commander acts like he doesn’t want any of us there. One time during frost training, he made us cut a palm-sized square out of our shirts, then told us we couldn’t wear anything that day except that square. This other time, he put a dead flower on my bed, made me lie under the bed, and said I couldn’t come out until the flower had come back to life. Good thing flowers come back to life on Tiolun.

Careful, kid, the ocean never picks fights with anyone its own size. Don’t go too far out.

Why don’t I just stay on Earth? Y’know, that’s a good question. But you saw that waiter and that cab driver. There’s something connecting a person to its planet, and when that connection breaks, a lot of other things start to break, too. Earth isn’t bad, but Tiolun…Tiolun needs me. When I end up spending the night anywhere else, Tiolun is all I can dream about. That gentian badge? I don’t want it so I can wear it. I want it so I can have that taste of worthiness in my consciousness, so I can breathe the smell of time moving, so I can hear every footstep of mine as the sound of me climbing towards redemption.

Kinda silly, huh, kid. Oh my galaxies, kid, look over there! It’s Potus and his dog! They’re going to their armored car. This is my one chance—kid? Where’d you go? Hey, kid?

Oh, no. Is that the kid all the way out there? It’s not moving.

The dog is running after a bird. All I have to do is port over there and snatch it…

I can’t see the kid’s face.


Hey there, kid. Glad you’re awake. It’s amazing how a little water can zap you sapiens. Okay, it was a lot of water. But nothing that my porticalivolizzer couldn’t get through.

You’ll never guess what happened. Potus and his dog were here. I’m serious. What, you think that just because I didn’t notice waiter-murderer and pigeon feet that I wouldn’t pick out a particular dog from a swarm of them?

It’s okay, don’t mention it. Really, don’t. With my masterful agent skills, I’ll find them again. But first, we should get you somewhere warm.

Step in, kid. Let’s go.

2015


  • To expect something is to believe that it will happen.
  • To have heightened expectations is to overestimate an event’s probability
  • To have lowered expectations is to underestimate an event’s probability.
  • For the following three cases, consider an event that is desirable.

The Case of Happiness

  • To hope is to have heightened expectations of fate.
  • If the expected event does not happen, one feels disappointment.
  • If the expected event does happen, one feels entitled to it.
  • Therefore, hope is harmful.

  • To despair is to have lowered expectations of fate.
  • If the expected event does not happen, one is not disappointed.
  • If the expected event does happen, it becomes a blessing.
  • Therefore, despair is safe.

The Case of Confidence

  • To believe that one will succeed is to have heightened expectations of oneself.
  • One’s performance may benefit from this self-confidence.
  • However, one’s performance may suffer from overconfidence.

  • To believe that one will fail is to have lowered expectations of oneself.
  • One’s performance may benefit from this self-liberation.
  • However, one’s performance may suffer from this self-deprecation.

The Case of Judgment

  • To believe in another is to have heightened expectations of the other.
  • The other may rise to one’s expectations.
  • However, the other may fall short of them and cause one’s disillusionment.

  • To doubt another is to have lowered expectations of the other.
  • One may be pleasantly surprised when the other proves worthy.
  • However, one may be too prejudiced to see when the other is worthy.

The Theory’s Therefore

  • Be not an optimist, who expects what the universe cannot give.
  • Be not a pessimist, who cannot give to the universe what it deserves.
  • Be neutral.

with me