Til Tuesday

Wednesday will find me heading for Bouchercon in Chicago, thusly no new posts.

I've been disinclined to posting as I get ready and more so after the hurricane hit. The coverage has been devastating. Listening to the reporters as their voices broke, knowing the people that suffer the most are the poor people that had no choice but to remain as lack of transportation and inability to rent a hotel room out of town kept them in place.

Husbands held on to their children as their wives were swept away.

The levees could still break.

The only water is polluted.

There is fire everywhere.

This is not the mood I'd hoped to be in as I left for this convention. Beyond low key. Last night I wept as I watched and listened. Tomorrow I will be amidst throngs of people cheerful, drinking, loud. Not sure how I'll fair.


When the Dad is away...

...the kids will clean out the garage and basement.

I won't tell you of some of the horrors we've discovered.

But, I will tell you that so far we have thrown away exactly 780 pounds of ick.

UPDATE: I've never wanted a shower so badly.


Extreme nature versus nurture

One of my all time favorite books, still vivid in my mind after a few years, is Katherine Dunn's GEEK LOVE. A profoundly disturbing book, Dunn will make the word freak take on a whole new and very real connotation for the intrepid reader.

This books takes the world as '‘norms'’ know it, turns it on its head and spins it around so fast that nothing looks the same. "Normal" people are plain and contemptible. Katherine Dunn crawls inside the dark recesses of the human mind to explore its darkest forms of love, loyalty, vengeance and what it really means to be normal when the world around is a mutant big top.

In the simplest of terms, GEEK LOVE is the story of the Binewskis, a carnival family, and their “Carnival Fabulon”. On the verge of bankruptcy, Aloysius and Crystal Lil Binewski come up with a plan that will save them and thtravelingling freak show. They create their own freaks by having the beautiful Lily ingests arsenic, insecticides, illicit drugs and eventually radioisotopes. Their children are born with a series of abnormalities that make them the greatest attractions the Fabulon has seen and they'’re made to earn their keep as mere babes. Even the couples failures are moneymakers in the a museum filled with jars of mistakes’ made as Mama and Papa Binewski experimented. The insulated family dynamic centers on making as much money as possible from circus visitors by constantly topping what has been done before.

Arturo the Aqua-Boy excels at manipulating his audience and is viscously jealous if pianist Siamese twins Electra and Iphigenia make more than he does. When Fortunato, also called the Chick, is born, he is almost abandoned when he is almost mistaken for normal. It is quickly clear what fantastic ability the small boy baby possesses. Narrated by Olympia Binewski a bald, humpbacked albino dwarf considered too unremarkable to perform, the raw power of her obsessive love for Arty drives her to commit deeds inconceivable in our world. The story is split between Oly describing her hard-working upbringing and of her life after the circus as she keeps watch over a mostly normal daughter she loves with everything she has left.

This bold, compelling novel has been erected on the barren ground outside of town where most dare not go. Once you'’ve paid for your ticket and entered the Binewski world, you have already begun a journey that will leave you affected and transformed. This story is riveting and disturbing, darkly funny and macabre, illusory and painfully human. Oly's narrative is engrossing and it is clear she has no moral dilemmas in her twisted world. Dunn extracts compassion and abhorrence with her characters that is almost confrontational. Something in them speaks to the freak in us all. When the lights come back up and you stumble out of the big top, the sun will seem too bright and you'’ll find sawdust in your shoes.



Adopt a cute lil' Scotty fetus
from Fetusmart! Hooray fetus!

A Gathering of irrelevancy

Your own personal baby Jesus Lizard

Song in my head today had been Ian Dury's 'Sex and Drugs and Rock 'n Roll'. This quickly changed after reading the New York Post story about Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson railing on Ozzy in front of audiences. Apparently the Shuffling One uses a teleprompter. Sharon Osbourne has exacted revenge by encouraging other bands to throw eggs, beer cans and other crap at Iron Maiden while they're on stage. Song now in my head? 'Run to the Hills'

UPDATE: Iron Maiden posts a statement on their website.

One of my favorite cyber occupations are worst ever lists and The Sun provides a rehashing of Worst Ever Album Covers.

Best Celebrity Body Parts are celebrated.

And Sea Anemones attacking other ocean dwellers makes for great photographs.

Screwdriver + Gun = Stupid

An unidentified Wisconsin man decided to use a screwdriver to dislodge a round from the chamber of a pistol last night. Not surprisingly, the weapon discharged and the bullet striking him in the abdomen.

He then called 911 and was taken to the hospital remaining conscious the entire time.


The Last Vestiges of my Childhood

Turn funny colors

Sex and Oils and Furniture

Some of those positions from the Kama Sutra make you feel as though you'd have to be a contortionist in order to fulfill them?

The Tantra Chair to the rescue! Oh, naked people will appear when the link is clicked.

This takes me back to the days when I had a pop-up Kama Sutra. Online, there are animated Kama Sutra, info on Kama Sutra themed bathrooms, Kama Sutra products and Kama Sutra posters and downloads(typed tongue firmly in cheek).

All hail flexibility!


"We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability,

Pat Robertson. What the fuck? He's a Christian, right? Soooooo..... the following comments are against the Ten Commandments, aren't they?

"You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it," Robertson said. "It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war ... and I don't think any oil shipments will stop."

And it has been proposed by some people that Robertson may have made money from the comments.

These aren't the first rather anti-Christian comments Robertson has made. You'll remember my favorite: Robertson has described feminism as a "socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians."

Oddly, Robertson has made comments that are Christian as well.

And he markets an 'age-defying' diet drink as well as praying for the death of those that defy him.

He's a busy guy. Damn.

Well, it isn't as though we haven't been through this before with our Evangelical busybodies.

"Jehovah didn't hesitate to assassinate thousands in his good name."
-- Reverend Jerry Falwell

UPDATE: He was misunderstood! Well, I for one am glad this is all just a matter of having taken the 'go ahead and do it' as an implication that Chavez should be assissinated.

"I said our special forces could take him out. Take him out could be a number of things including kidnapping," Robertson said on his "The 700 Club" television program.

"There are a number of ways of taking out a dictator from power besides killing him. I was misinterpreted," Robertson added.

Adam, why is it so entertaining to watch you get hurt?

Long a fan of Mythbusters and thusly Adam Savage, finding an interview on the Sneeze makes Jen happy enough to refer to herself in the third person.

My name is Chris, and I'm a writing junkie.

The newly launched Erotic Authors Assoication has birthed a column by M. Christian, writer of erotica and science fiction. He explains the whys of the column below:


I get a lot of questions, being a writer, especially an “erotica” writer: where do you get your ideas? Are you really (gay/straight/bisexual--fill in the blank); do you have a lot of sex, how do you “research” a story, and so many more. But the main question I get is that one word: “Why?”

After getting this question a few too many times I took a moment to look down deep into myself and come up with an answer. That answer is my own essay, “Junkie,” which appears below. But knowing my answer doesn’t mean THE question has been answered: what about my friends, other erotica writers? Why do they write what they write? How has their sex writing affected their lives, their sexuality? How did they get started? Where do they want to go with their writing? -- those questions and many more."

His first true entry for the column entitled 'Junkie' has whys that apply to all writers. Writing is an addiction and Chris has it bad.

His book, the Burning Pen, goes in depth into the world of writers who write about sex. And there are a lot of us.



It is football season. This means that for the next few months my mother will be yelling the nonsensical phrase "Whooooo-hoooo!" and the very sensical phrase, "Get him!"

Lou: You alright there, Margie?
Marge Gunderson: Oh, I just think I'm gonna barf... Well, that passed. Now I'm hungry again.

Which Swear (Curse) Word Are You?
Your word is BUGGER. You are generally quite
restrained, but sometimes your anger or
frustration come to the surface and it all
comes out. Yet you somehow can't stop sounding
polite, despite it all.

Animals do yoga

Cor Blimey! Cockney Accent Dying Out

Spilled tea into the keyboard It now smells... funny.

One is the Scariest Number that you'll ever Do

Masturbation Horror Stories.

Still here? OK. Try Dildo Art.

An angry mob of one...mullet

Russel Crowe, young, mulleted and full of attitude.


The Let's Keep the Freaky Photo from the Top of the Page Post

More than a little surprised, maybe flabbergasted is the word, to see that vibrators can now be purchased on Amazon. Yes, they have reviews.

M.R.I's can make hospitals into war zones. "In Freiburg, Germany, a fireman fighting a blaze elsewhere in the hospital was sucked into the scanner's bore by his air tank. Folded in half, with his knees pressed into his chest, he nearly choked to death." Simply Physics is dedicated to the results of strong magnetic fields on this thing called life.

An Exhibit of Flower Shaped Urinals

Top 10 Internet Hoaxes

There. That terrible photo has now moved on down and it's safe to load this page again.


For my sister, so prone to ew

Do you know who this is?
Click the link to Awful Plastic Surgery if you're in a quandry.

A shadow has been cast over the day

By a nightmare - the second of it's type this month, but this was the worst of the two. My mom, my own mother, told me I had no choice but to go back to highschool. Back to the palace of pontificating pain, back to the inception of my contempt for mainstream tastes and lying, pernicious back-stabbing behavior from behind a masks of smiling acceptance.



Stop in the name of...ew????

One man's art is another man's nightmare.

The debut display of BODIES The Exhibition at Tampa’s Museum Of Sciene & Industry (MOSI) August 20, 2005 and staying through February, 2006 has people talking and filling motions.

Florida state's Anatomical Board opposes the show's opening and refuses to approve it.

Members voted 4-2 against the exhibit saying they were uncomfortable that neither the deceased nor their families granted formal permission for them to be used in a museum. Premier Exhibitions of Atlanta argues that the board, which oversees the use of cadavers at Florida medical schools, has no jurisdiction over the Tampa museum. The critical question centers around the origin of the 20 bodies and the body parts that make up the exhibit.

"The corpses belonged to Chinese people whose bodies went unclaimed or unidentified before being turned over to a medical school in China", according to Premier.

Company attorney Brian Wainger sent a letter to the board saying that the bodies were "obtained legally and handled properly." According to Wainger, Dalian Medical University, which handled them, certified that all died of natural causes and none were prisoners. The bodies are preserved with a process that replaces human tissue with silicone rubber. Arnie Geller, Premier president and CEO, said displaying the plasticized bodies is no different than displaying mummies in a museum. The mummies just happen to be thousands of years older.

Documents presented to the board show that the Chinese government endorsed the use of "these exact specimens" when they were displayed in a museum in Beijing. Premier will provide letters from the museum that displayed the specimens and the Chinese Anatomical Association, which also "approved of the exhibition there."

"We will fight for the right to present this exhibition, and we will fight for the right of the people of Florida to see this exhibition," Geller said .

A similar exhibit, Body Worlds, in San Francisco caused a huge controversy after bodies began dripping human fat and silicone. It will be in Chicago until September 5.

Death by Caffeine

Find out how much of the Peach Tea Snapple/Dew/Diet Coke it would take to kill you.

It would take 70.53 cans of Rockstar to put me down.

Jen blatantly Rips Off...

Pretty Cunning posts! Having taken the brain in for a good dry cleaning, I've found that taking a spin around the internet has done nothing but produce a mildly hypnotic state from the subtle flashing of the screen. I can't be made to do anything I don't want to do but odd memories from a past life keep popping in for a visit. Apparently I lived under a bridge.

Anyway, on to the ripping off part.

First, a petition to, well, I'll let them tell it: We the undersigned request the appearance of David Hasselhoff aka The Hoff to appear at the Oxegen 2006 Festival. This, of course, allows me to poke around for the odd photo of the Curly Haired one. It isn't easy to choose. Modesty steers me away from the hairy chest. The plethora of 'thumbs-up' photos made me spew coffee and had to be ignored. But there are plenty of cheesy grins for one and all. After many hours the decision to post multiple photos seemed the only way to make the searing headache trying to think without a brain has given me.

Next, in a complete 360 turn, I give you FemDefence.

In another 360, the fabulous and strangely entertaining comic Digger. Because Ursula Vernon believes you can never have enough wombats. I tend to agree.

Miss me?

Didn't think so...


DIY home decor for the morbidly inclined

Gothic Martha Stewart. Giving genuine home decor help to those that can't order macabre embellishment from a catalogue.

For those with a black thumb, there is Gothic Gardening. The intrepid and brave Goth daring to venture outside can chose from themed gardens such as:

The Somber Garden

The Night Garden

The Witches' Garden

Gardening for Bats

The Little Greenhouse of Horrors

Le Jardin Sanguinaire

Gardening for the Fey

The Garden of Ill Omens

Growing Your Grave Goods

The Abortionist's Garden

The Garden in Winter

The Botanic Cathedral

The Garden of Deadly Delights

Beyond the Thirteen

There are any number of Gothic Sims sites - if one is going to live the dark life, one's Sims should as well.

There is no end to sites where one can attain proper Goth garb. It isn't just about wearing black and being pale. It isn't about skulls and bad attitudes. It's about being pissed off and letting everyone know about up front. This from a girl who went out with a Goth who regularly wrote notes like, "I love you even though you are a bitch." Post-Romantic love.

Fuck it.


They Thought You'd Say That

Unlikely phrases from real phrasebooks.


I'm going to prescribe some suppositories.
Ik geef u een recept voor zetpillen.


She has excellent breasts.
Mae bronnau ardderchog da hi.


Hand me over those moccasins. -- They will not help you much, they are like a singed cat.
Sìn a nall na cuaranan sin. -- Cha mhór is fheairrde thu iad, tha iad coltach ri cat air a dhathadh.


Must I swallow them whole?
Devo engoli-los inteiros?

Too Mullet, Mullet


Indian food is

a panacea of miraculous properties.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

My nose has been buried between the pages of Donna Kossey's STRANGE CREATIONS: Aberrant Ideas of Human Origins from Ancient Astronauts to Aquatic Apes. I cumbersome title for a fascinating book. Even as theories of evolution evolve, the need for people to believe we didn't develop from sludge and/or primates is strong, pervading and in some cases amusing.

In some cases not so amusing.

I'd no idea that Nazis had patterned some of their eugenics laws after laws passed in the thirty three of United States for mandatory sterilization of those considered inferior people. The term most often used was 'feeble-minded' - a rather ambiguous word.

The widespread sterilization of Native American women is something I had known a little about. It is not just a matter of history. As of 1982, fifteen percent of white women had been sterilized, compared with twenty-four percent of African-American women, thirty-five percent of Puerto Rican women, and forty-two percent of Native American women. In the early 1970's, an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 low-income individuals were annually subjected to sterilization under federally funded programs.

"It is better for all the world,
if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kindÂ…
Three generations of imbeciles are enough."
United States Supreme Court. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

In a the research I've done on the subject, I realize I'm at the tip of a large iceberg. Accusations of eugenic population control are being used by the right and the left in American today. The founders of Planned Parenthood and NARAL stand accused. What I've written here is just a taste of a vast and emotional topic.

Dragons in the Tibet Sky


Always click next...

Things in rubbers.

A dirty spot yesterday will be an attraction tomorrow

Yes, there is a suicide themed park for Cheung Chau island off of Hong Kong.

For the man/woman/shemale that has everything

No doubt most of you read Neil Gaiman's blog and this is old news. For the handful that don't, check these eBay offerings out:

Stephen King

What he's offering:
"One (and only one) character name in a novel called CELL, which is now in work and which will appear in either 2006 or 2007. Buyer should be aware that CELL is a violent piece of work, which comes complete with zombies set in motion by bad cell phone signals that destroy the human brain. Like cheap whiskey, it's very nasty and extremely satisfying. Character can be male or female, but a buyer who wants to die must in this case be female. In any case, I'll require physical description of auction winner, including any nickname (can be made up, I don't give a rip)."

When you can bid:
September 8-18

Or a Lemony Snicket book?

Lemony Snicket

What he's offering:
"An utterance by Sunny Baudelaire in Book the Thirteenth. Pronunciation and/or spelling may be slightly 'mutilated.' An example of this is in The Grim Grotto when Sunny utters 'Bushcheney.' Target publication date is Fall 2006."

When you can bid:
September 8-18

or a Jonathan Lethem-written Marvel comic?

Jonathan Lethem

What he's offering:
"I need the name of a Columbia University professor for a comic book I'm writing for Marvel. It can be your name or the name of a friend -- but if it's a friend, I need to hear from them with their permission."

When you can bid:
September 8-18

While I am promising to put your name onto a gravestone in my next children's novel, THE GRAVEYARD BOOK.

And it all goes to the First Amendment Project.

attentional rubbernecking

It sounds like one my blathering over-caffeinated phrase machinations but this is an actual term coined by scientists who have noted that people who see erotic or violent images tend to not remember what they see next.

“We observed that people fail to detect visual images that appeared one-fifth of a second after emotional images, whereas they can detect those images with little problem after viewing neutral images,” said Vanderbilt University psychologist David Zald.

a word waiting to be spoken

Walter Mosley writes about the Watts riots.


I'm actually quite fond of...


very long, hot, hot, hot showers



The word 'rural'. Just say it. Rural. R - u - r - a - l. Look at yourself in the mirror when you say it. Don't you look bizarre? Like you're going to kiss a toad?

essential oils

Alan Cumming


being warm



I unquestionably hate...

...the Irish whistle.

I have heard one song in which I enjoyed it. Every other one is like torture.

Repeatedly being poked with a stick whilst you try to read a really good book torture.

Being stuck in an elevator with a group of beings emitting dark beer farts torture.

Having a hair stuck in your eye that everyone including you can see but you can't get it out torture.

Losing your keys when you're already late for an interview/first date/evacuating the city due to major catastrophe torture.

Waking up from major surgery and discovering they've removed the wrong body part torture.

Taking stock of yourself and realizing you turned out just as your parents warned you you would torture.

Awards banquet food for the rest of your life torture.

Insert torture of choice below.

Wired to Death

"We presume the cause of death was heart failure stemming from exhaustion."

A 28-year-old man know only as Lee, quit or was fired from his job last month because he was obsessed with an on-line battle simulation game called Starcraft. On August 3rd, at a cyber cafe in Taegu, Korea, he sat down in front of a computer to play.

Every now and then he would go to the bathroom or take five minute naps on a makeshift bed. The rest of the time, fifty hours worth, he sat staring at the screen battling cyber foes.

Lee's mother, frantic when he didn't return home, asked his former colleagues to find him. They reached the cafe where Lee said he would finish the game and then go home. Then he collapsed. Moved to a hospital, Lee died hours later of heart failure.


An Irishman in London taking breaks from software development and lawyering has a cyber travelogue of his escapades:

"It all started as an on-line journal recording a journey I took around the world a while ago. Essentially the idea was to save on the cost of postage of all those picture postcards of muddy ravines and doe-eyed children, that I would otherwise have had to send to my family and friends.

The website became more popular than I could have imagined, and now I receive emails from complete strangers complimenting some things that I have written. That is very nice, so please continue! Sometimes people agree with my description, sometimes not, but that's fine. I like a debate. As long as I win. Crushingly.

So I'll keep writing, and archive my articles here, for you to throw things at."

Check out his Gnome Funicular: Scurrying through strange tunnels with the muffin folk

"I was thrown into the river on my seventeenth birthday. There was mud. I had to wash my socks. I survived. When I was five, I was chased up the street by a small, angry dog. I had to both avoid being bitten, and not step on him. How could I have explained squashed dog on my shoe? I survived. I believe I can handle this too."

Song Stuck in my Head Today

Bill Murray's version of the Star Wars theme.

UPDATE: Pat Benatar's "Stop Using Sex as a Weapon". Please, someone, help me.

In the email tonight

Margaret Mead urges me to take out a home loan.


Boom, boom, down came the light

Sleep is an issue for me. Apparently an insomniac in utero, my father was forced to sleep on the couch as I held gymnastic tournaments in my mothers womb that kept him awake otherwise. These efforts led to a knot in the umbilical cord after a birthing that had me breach than not breach than pulled out by a pair of forceps.

I slept lightly as a child and only after extensive sessions of rocking in my crib as I pounded my head on the headboard whilst singing at the top of my lungs.

All through my life sleep, good sleep, has eluded me.

Last night, as I unfitfully dozed, the gods must have gotten bored.

"Look, she's sleeping."


"Isn't she an insomniac?"


"Well, can't have her breaking with protocol."

Down came the lamp from the headboard onto my head.

I actually managed to doze off again after taking an aspirin and righting the lamp.

Down came the lamp on the side of my head it had missed before.

As I sprang up in my bed the distant sound of laughter filled my ears.


I am so proud.

Sonya Thomas, 99 pounds, ate her way to a speed-eating title over the weekend. She consumed 35 Johnsonville brats in 10 minutes. Thomas, known on the competitive-eating circuit as The Black Widow, won the first Johnsonville Brat-Eating World Championship. She edged out her nearest competitor by half a brat to win. "I don't know where she puts it," spectator Sue Van De Kreeke said. "I got sick watching her."

The previous bratwurst-eating record was 19 1/2 brats in 10 minutes.

Thomas has a web page devoted to eating mass quantities.


Finger Post

The finger.

It is a remarkable and well used part of the human body. It has a history. It has purpose. It is chock full of blood, fat, nerves and blood. Which was well documented when I did a Google Image Search. The yuck factor was in full play.

Beyond the people whose hands feature a lack of digits as you would have seen a preponderence of in the image search above, there are people with more than the usual number. Anne Boleyn was said to have had eleven fingers. When trying to think of someone with extra fingers without the aid of the internet, the only one that came readily to mind was Count Rugan from The Princess Bride (I'm still awed by the fact that William Golding penned that and Marathon Man).

A report out of the Univesity of Berkely in California suggests finger length can be a suggestion of sexual orientation.

The finger of Galileo is a much visited thing in Italy's Museo di Storia del Scienza. There are, of course, many body parts of many famous people floating around the globe but we'll save that for a future post.

There is, of course, finger protocol. Giving someone "the finger" is one of the ignoble transgressions in modern culture. Its origins date back over 2500 years. In essence, the finger becomes the phallus. It is put out there, aggressively, staunchly, irrevocably, when one wants to challenge someone. There is no end to people giving the finger in literature, the internet and Jordan family albums. The finger went underground as a symbol of male testosterone when the Catholic Church became a dominant force until it once again made and reappearance with the advent of the photography. No doubt there is no coincidence. In John Bulwer's 1644 work Chirologica: of the Naturall Language of the Hande, we discover that the finger, or convicium facio (meaning, I provoke an argument) was a "natural expression of scorn and contempt." Finger gestures, including the two finger gesture seen mostly in Europe, are discussed at length here. The best history of world wide gestures I've found is right here. The Vitraka is a Buddhist gesture of Argument or Discussion. Looking closely at Buddhas or bodhisattvas, these gestures, or mudras, are very evident and each has a different meaning.

One can use one's finger for an online meditation,
for magic tricks , for knitting,
for puppet shows , for painting, playing twister,
identification and further on that score, soon for paying at checkout.

There are Chinese Finger Traps ,

Finger food ,

Finger joints ,

Coral fingers ,

and finger bowls .

Finger phrases are numerous. One can have a finger in the pie, one can put one's finger on something (or maybe one can't quite put one's finger on it), one can have an itchy trigger finger, one can have someone wrapped around there finger, something can be finger licking good, or something can be better than a finger in the eye. Well, many things could be better than that.

But we all know we can let our fingers do the talking.

So get your finger out.

You don't have to work your finger to the bone.

Don't let this chance slip threw your fingers.

I promise... I won't lay a finger on you.

But don't keep your fingers crossed.

Which would be difficult if you're all thumbs.