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    • Yeah, about that whole scientology thing...

    • Posted by Egon on 28 Jan 08
    • One of my big fears is that when I'm an old man, a holiday dinner will be planned at my house by my lovely, aging wife, Dita Von Wargo, and the entire family will arrive. My grandson, Logan, and his beautiful Bolivian girlfriend will announce their engagement. My lesbian granddaughter and her caring life partner will be working hard on the campaign trail for one of the first great American leaders in nearly a century. We'll all be so proud.

      ....but then there will be the youngest, who brings over her Scientologist boyfriend. Did I mention that they're also both dressed as Furries? Cause they are.

      I'll rise to my shrinking, archless feet, throw down my silverwear and vegan pad thai thanksgiving dinner will fly out my mouth as I declare "NOT IN MY HOUSE!! GET OUT!!"

      Then the two of them will leave, holding paws and think that I'm just a bitter old man who is stuck in the past, when in fact, I'm livid that people who like to pretend to fuck animals and think they have aliens trapped inside them are attaching themselves to serious things like the civil, gay and women's rights movement.

      That's why I'll be at the Celebrity Center on February 10th dressed as The Predator. I don't want to live in that kind of dystopian future.
    • Working With The Old And Mad

    • Posted by olivertwisted on 28 Jan 08
    • The razorblade covered walnut lodged in my throat (a.k.a tonsilitis) notwithstanding I limped out to my voluntary work today. Usually I work with a woman who barely says two words and is apathetic to the point of torpor. Today I got a different woman who talks more or less constantly but without ever uttering anything remotely relevant. I quickly worked out that she could understand what I was saying and was, in her own deranged way, trying to respond to me. It's just that she's effectively speaking a different language. This makes it somewhat hard to interact with her, you have to phrase things in a yes or no manner and then judge for yourself whether the free association ramble about sponge cake that follows represents a vote for or against what you've just suggested.

      Of course sometimes she's actually trying to change the subject and articulate a thought that isn't directly relevant to what we're doing. She gets a little frustrated when we can't decode the meaning behind her jumbled sentences but seems to be used to people not understanding what she's talking about. If you wait thirty seconds she tends to forget what she was talking about anyway and move onto something else.

      There's the occasional lucid moment as well but they get lost amid the babble and her speech impediment. She's certainly someone who exhibits more challenging behaviour than anyone else I've had to deal with and interacting with her for an hour left me strangely tired, kind of like the feeling I used to get after a difficult exam.
    • Z: TBH: Morning, Day 1

    • Posted by Z on 28 Jan 08
    • Did you think you could scare me off with a bit of rewarmed drama?

      No, no, no, no, no. You don't understand.

      I like it here. I'm not going anywhere.

      Sit. Sit down.

      Let's really have a conversation. I'll tell you about my morning, and then you tell me about yours, okay? That's simple enough.

      My morning went a little something like this: woke up with a swollen knee, couldn't be bothered to crawl in and out of the tub. Dampened a much too cold towel with icy water that sputtered out of the faucet against its will; scrubbed down in the dark in front of the sink while the cat yowled the morning gossip at me. Got dressed, remembered the bullshit that ensued the last time I posted to this Blog thing, reconsidered briefly, decided 'fuck it', Monday's no day for making decisions. By the time I'd worked boots onto sore and scratched up legs, was late late late. Got the morning fix at Starbucks, ran to the train, spilled a bit of coffee, and launched myself at the doors Die Hard style.

      Got to the office. When I opened my four inboxes this morning it was bullshit all over. Need a shovel, elbow length latex gloves and waders.

      In the absence of any real motivation, I plan on beating my knee with my fist until I have no choice but to focus on my very bright computer screen to avoid curling into a little ball on the office floor.

      (ahem)

      Your turn. Tell me about your morning, your day, your big plans this week.

      - Z
    • Starting the day with a world news of Violence

    • Posted by Rootfireember on 28 Jan 08
    • It is 10:12 am when I start writing this. I've had approximately 6 hours of sleep. The first story Reuters scrolls to my feed-reader is about 19 people who were burned to death locked inside a house in Naivasha on Sunday. The article states the death toll is now over 800, and its not the only place in the world that seems to be getting more violent. Most of the news in my feeder, with the exception of those dealing with the arts & tech (A category I've put Grinding.be in) seems to paint a tragic picture of a world falling towards increased violence and chaos. Do journalists dream of dystopian sheep?

      19 people are burned to death. Pakistani kids are held hostage by crazed gunmen (they are later freed) and 5 more US Soldiers are killed in Iraq by insurgents. I shouldn't blame Reuters. It's not the journalists' fault that people do crazy things, and aren't treating other people like, well, people.

      According to scientist Robin Dunbar 150 is the maximum number of folks we can really, truly give a shit about, so when faced with news of people dying in areas far from us, people we don't know and who have no overtly obvious impact upon our lives, its easy to just not care. Sure, we'll gape, and say the socially appropriate "Oh, how Sad! How Tragic, how Horrifying!" But I don't think we really care. Its not our friends being killed. It's some stranger. And inside, I think more than a few of us are glad its not us, its not one of our friends. We can turn off the news feed and radio, walk away from the TV, and pretend it didn't happen. Because it didn't happen to anyone we know, no one in our little monkeysphere.

      Good morning, everyone.
    • dissociative state

    • Posted by roque on 28 Jan 08
    • I woke up this morning feeling like a complete stranger to my own life.

      I've spent all day trying to deal with this and it hasn't gone away. I feel like some alien presence is inhabiting my brain and going, "What the fuck? This is no kind of life. How can I change this?"

      or to put it another way, This is not my beautiful house. This is not my beautiful wife.

      I can't live like this for one more day. I want to do something drastic, but there's nothing drastic within my power to do. I have no control over my life and don't know what I'd do if I did.
    • Sad

    • Posted by Spiraltwist on 28 Jan 08
    • I just realized I left my mp3 player in the car and I don't feel like walking back to the car to get it. And today they are playing country on the gym radio. Ugg. Maybe I'll make that trip to the car anyway.
    • Monday Morning

    • Posted by Mark Seifert on 28 Jan 08
    • I was telling a friend recently that I've been meaning to do this for awhile -- a little blogging aside from the avatarpress.com and twitter stuff. Timing's a little funny though, as my at-large surfing has dropped dramatically since Avatar helps host so many interesting sites ourselves these days. And of course you know what's right around the corner, and a few weeks after that-- we'll be launching another site with someone else you'll be interested to hear from.

      But, a few links of recent interest this morning:

      Been dying to find the time to throw this block of 1983 MTV on my spare machine and watch it in the background. Hope there's some Martha Quinn in there though.

      Just spent a few minutes catching up with Mick Farren's blog. Farren is the author of the Renquist Quartet among other things, and someone you might like since you've found your way to Whitechapel.

      These recent reddit developments interest me, as I've often wondered what you'd get if you did the digg thing more focused. Say, based around people who read Avatar books. Always meant to play with pligg, but something we've never quite found the time for.
    • Monkeys get all the cool shit...

    • Posted by Don Kelly on 28 Jan 08
    • So, I'm reading this article about sleep deprivation and how they have monkeys snorting the hormone that sleeplessness exhausts. Test group monkeys stay as refreshed as well rested monkeys for up to 36 hours. Placebo monkeys with nothing but Starbucks and standard nasal spray become edgy bastards in the same time frame.

      This research has the catchy title of "sleep replacement drugs," and is funded by Darpa so we can fight wars longer and work longer days and such.

      Still, I could use a bottle now since I have no sleep substitute and self-medicate with too much coffee.

      Working on the first of two stories for Clarion, both new drafts of first drafts from last year. '07 wasn't a good creative year and I shut it down by June. But, these were good nuggets. Just need some polish is all.

      If history holds I will be typing until the March 1st deadline. Part of me whispers gleeful malevolence that this will not happen. That I will blow yet another deadline, my history of the last couple of years.

      Then another part of me wants to know if I'm joking. School? Fucking school? You've been represented. You've had meetings. You've been to the parties. Shook the hands. Talked the shit.

      Yup. I have. I've also burned the old bridges. Fired the old people. Things like Clarion worked in the past. Got me discovered the first time. Might work again. Besides, it might be nice to live in San Diego for six weeks with nothing to do but write.

      Guess I better finish the stories, then.

      Maybe I should write one about a monkey whose consciousness slowly evolves over the 36 hours he's awake and refreshed for. The doctors note his sudden loss of interest in mundane monkey pursuits like masturbation and shit flinging. He sits alone, contemplative, staring at the camera suspended from the ceiling. The doctors shudder, wondering whose studying who.

      And the monkey wonders whether he should post his thoughts under a Creative Commons license.