20 October 2009

Signs of the Old Ones.

Tree roots? Or harbinger of Cthulhu? You decide.

08 October 2009

Science versus performance art.

Behold: The Blood Lamp.

Honestly, if your goal is to make people think about energy usage, wouldn't razor wire light switches work as well? And be less wasteful?

30 September 2009

Doom-o-meter: 30 September 2009.

Well, there's a new level of Doom in town: Beware of Bears and Perverts. And sadly, that is the level we are currently experiencing.

First of all, the makers of Snuggie (shudder) have released a new product: Snuggie for Dogs. I cannot express my full horror at this development; it is truly unholy. The original Snuggie was terrifying enough, but this is surely from the marketing department of R'lyeh, Incorporated.

In other news, nearby waters have recently acquired a new sheen of terror, as a giant squid was found in the Gulf of Mexico -- the first of its kind since 1954. I can only conclude that these krakens of the deep are stalking my associate, Evn (the Lover of Strife) -- just as he has long suspected. Perhaps this squid is a harbinger of water-based doom to come? We must hope otherwise, and remain vigilant of unseen tentacles.
Finally, a bit of good news. It seems that Pagans and Goths are trying to reclaim Morris dancing in the UK. I always suspected that Morris dancing would be fun, but could never quite get beyond the synchronized hankie waving. I hope to see one of these "grittier" performances one day.

Times may be dark, but no one said we couldn't have a bit of fun. Right?

23 September 2009

Doom-o-meter: 23 September 2009.

It seems almost laughable to check the gauge on the Doom-o-meter these days, since I've been praying to be eaten first for a long time now, but I've seen a few interesting things lately, and I'd say that we're really only at level "Slightly Unsettling, But Not Too Alarming" -- despite my protestations.

Let's start with a little sunshine amongst the usual grey detritus. Kate Harding recently presented a beautiful dissection of celebrity-death apophenia in her Jezebel piece criticizing the "Summer of Celebrity Death." We can be assured that common knowledge is often wrong, of course -- though I am still somewhat relieved to be non-famous at this time...just in case.

In the other news, devout Christians can now make sure their pets are taken care of after "the rapture" by atheists -- who at least love animals, even if they are godless heathens, and whatnot.

And finally, a red panda escaped from a zoo in the UK, proving that the pandas are in fact coming -- though not the kind that can hide in an Oreo cookie factory, sadly.

See, we're practically safe as houses these days. Except for all the doom, of course.

16 September 2009

The lost year.

So, I sort of disappeared there for a while.

You may be wondering what the hell happened, because I may have posted rarely on WordPress -- but I did post. Don't worry, I wasn't in prison -- or rather, not in a traditional prison of bricks and bars. I was ill last year -- for months, to the point that I've started to refer to the period as "My Lengthy Victorian Convalescence." I never understood what people meant in the old novels by "lengthy illness," the sort where a slow walk around the garden was progress indeed. But I learned that. I even learned that sitting up on the sofa to watch TV could be a struggle.

I was actively sick for about five months -- and not with anything normally fatal, just sick. I missed (cumulatively, not consecutively) about seven weeks of work from December 2008 through April 2009. I did manage to keep my day job, barely -- and mostly just because I'm a hassle to replace during tax season.

I'm used to losing long periods of time to the haze of depression, but not physical illness. It was such a strange sensation to watch the days march by from my sick bed. The whole thing started with something like a bad flu, but progressed into an endless bronchitis. I just couldn't seem to get well, and the antibiotics they originally gave me caused me to lose over 20 pounds in three weeks. I couldn't eat, and I was too weak to sit up a lot of the time. It was a combination of things, as far as I can tell -- severe asthma that had gone undiagnosed (possibly for years), along with hypersensitivity to a couple of medications, all worsened by stress -- but it was amazing how a fever and a cough snowballed into this Other that became my entire life for a time.

I guess I had the impression that people are supposed to develop great wisdom when faced with severe illness. Isn't that what we're supposed to believe? The narratives found in popular ladies' magazines seem to imply this -- everyone from cheerful, bald cancer survivors to those that have heart attack scares all see "the light." We're supposed to slow down, appreciate what we have, and be thankful -- always thankful -- for the little things.

Well, I wasn't thankful. I just got frustrated, and bored, and kind of bitter. Even when I reached a point where I realized that I might not get well, that this horrible Other may not be temporary, I didn't have a single deep thought. I just stopped making plans for the future.

I watched the shadows track along my bedroom wall as the sun moved across the winter sky, waiting.

I never figured out what I was waiting for, exactly. Recovery? Death? For my partner to come home from work? Life became a giant waiting room in an office building where nothing was as expected, and the chairs weren't very comfortable. Everything stopped: My writing, my hobbies. I even stopped making lists, which would have been unthinkable in the "before time."

The concept of limbo became very real to me.

After the worst of it, when I was able to go to work almost every day, there was nothing left over in the evening. I couldn't cook dinner, or go to a movie. I could only rest, and be restless.

Even now, many months later, the truth is that I never got well -- not completely. Maybe I never will. I had to hire a cleaner, and I have to be very careful how I expend my energy. I make fewer plans for "fun" these days, because I can never gauge whether or not I'll be well enough to leave the house. My Victorian Convalescence continues in a fashion. I have trouble breathing. I must be very gentle when I exercise. I feel old, and worn, and very, very tired.

But I can sit up now, even after a full day. And that means I can write again.

Maybe that's all the cure I'll need in the end.

15 September 2009

"An undersea, unexplained mass sponge migration."

The migration from our previous home on the web is now complete -- or as complete as it's going to get, since I did leave some housekeeping detriment over there.

Suffice to say, I only brought the good stuff over the new threshold. Sure, that means the essays came over, along with some bread, salt, and honey because I'm superstitious. Anything dated before 08/2009 is from the previous location.

Welcome to Postmodern Occult (again).