Friday, May 23, 2008

submarineasaurus are go

Some more stuff happened, on top of all the other stuff, and I have crossed my threshold of what is acceptable behaviour when interacting with the world at large, lost my judgement and stepped on lots of toes, and so I’m pulling my submarine trick. We batten the hatches, dive deep and run silent until…until we don’t need to any more.

I think I caught myself out when I said I try to keep my angst to myself. It’s true, but for anyone who reads this, it’s very not true. That’s why this blog exists. I don’t have anywhere else to put any of this, and I need to put it somewhere. Sometimes I forget that.

I’ve caused unnecessary worry, and I’m sorry, especially to J, M and M.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Notification of Intent to Disappear

There is violence in the act of writing. Taking thoughts from the mind and putting them down in some physical sense is an act of intention, an expression of will, and any expression of will is an exertion of force on the world.

Some writing is more honest in its violence. The pen is a knife, the slide of the nib across paper the slice of the blade, and what is written can be written over, but never unwritten. The typewriter is a less subtle pound pound pound every key stroke physical and hard pound pound pound until the words are down and won’t get back up, and can never be unwritten.

Computers obfuscate that violence. The key presses are softer, and every letter put down can be erased and unwritten and taken back. It’s easy to forget the consequences that our words and voices can summon when the delete key exists. The only way to acknowledge the violence of the written word in an electronic medium is to have the words read, so that even if unwritten, they cannot be unread.

I have been violent, and that cannot be undone;


I am tired and ashamed;


I need another hangover;


I have nothing left to say.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Spanish Dancers (the nudibranch kind)

picture from here

I was all set to dig up fascinating and weird truths about this most graceful of sea slugs, but the internet offers no such treasures. They can swim, and they're big for sea slugs, which is a succinct summary of what the internet hivemind knows.

I'm forming the opinion that they get away with this by being gorgeous and entirely hypnotic. Who needs to be able to hold a conversation when you do this all day?

(Just ignore the dumbtard diver poking the poor thing, and the further dumbtard diver dancing, and the random apperance of a lion fish. Actual spanish dancing is at the 1 minute mark - it's the best footage I found on YouTube.)

ETA: I stumbled across this page in my GISing. It's a competition gallery of underwater photography that is well worth eyeballing. See?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I noted the fact that today it rained all day in my diary, because the world is ending and precious thing should be recognised.

Friday, May 16, 2008

prettier than thou

It was posted on boingboing so you've already all seen this absolutely stunning collection of sea slug glamour photos up on the NG site. They're most <3 worthy.

To be honest, they made my self-esteem wilt a little. I mean, yes, we've done quite a bit of the evolution thang, and we have brains, big brains, bigger than a whole sea slug, brains that render us capable of picking the fluff from our belly button and wondering whether milk two days past the use by is still okay at the same time, and I'm not even all that ugly even by human standards, but we are-

-never going to be all that.

Have yourself a gander, make yourself feel ugly and cumbersome. I swear the second last slug is the inspiration for Pikachu.

Even more damaging, I noticed the "buy print" button on the bottom left. And I clicked it. And found the whoooole NG print store. May Inari take my soul and keep it in a sardine tin. I want all those sea slugs on my walls. Alas, or perhaps fortunately, it's the entirely wrong time of a very small and bill consumed pay. BUT I SHALL REMEMBER.


If you desire you may purchase a print of zombie bear here.

Monday, May 12, 2008

i jump from every rooftop

I'm breaking with all the serious posting and we're going to play a game.

Let's play make believe. You're a doctor. Maybe you really are a doctor, in which case, this will require no effort on your part. You run a general practice in an old neighbourhood. You have clients who have been coming to you for the length of their lives. One client in particular. You don't see her more than a couple of times a year for checkups as she's barely sick. You have 26 years of her medical history in your records.

When she asks you about alternatives to prescription anti-depressants, do not look at her like she's just asked you if grafting a live walrus to her face will increase her chances of getting laid.

Just because you have made her cough and say 'aaah', taken her blood and shoved steel umbrellas up her twat does not mean you have any, any idea of what is going on in her head. Reacting as though she's being silly, possibly attention-seeking and overly dramatic, and telling her that she doesn't need any such medication because, well, she's not depressed, is going to do several months of damage.

I was asking for help.

Regardless, I went on St John's Wort which smells funky and comes in tablets the size of my head. Couldn't hurt to try. It's a slow accumulating drug, and it was some weeks before I noticed any effects. As far as I could tell, the only thing the pills did was take away my desire. All desire, for anything, everything, small immediately desires and material desires and long term dreamy desires. I did not become content with my lot, I simply had no urge to change gain move anything. It didn't feel like apathy. It wasn't numbness. I found that, instead of forcing myself to be a not terribly brooding mopey person around other people, I was forcing myself to want things.

If you don't desire things, if you don't have desire driving you through your life, pushing you to act, making you change the world around you, then what is the point of anything? Desire makes us go. Without desire, any desire, nothing I did had any meaning.

None of this actually stopped my head from being a noxious place to be. None of this made me feel any better, or made every day life anything less than a tooth and nail ordeal. The pills stole my sleep dreams, which did not impress me in the least. And when it came down to it, the act of taking these pills every morning made me feel like a faker, a poser, and a failure.

One night, one particularly bad night, I stood in the dark and threw the pills, one by one, out the window.

Most satisfying thing I've done in a long time.

St John's Wort is prescribed instead of Prozac in Germany, and has been in use for so long I don't doubt it helps a lot of people. But the effects I felt weren't helping me, they were scaring me. They took away some of the tools I use to keep going.

So what if night after night I dream of the end of the world, and when I wake up I'm nothing but thwarted desires? These things make me me. These things give me meaning.

Maybe I am being entirely irrational, making up any excuse to return to the devil I know. These certainly don't seem like rational or sensible decisions. But, I'm not scaring myself anymore, and while I haven't yet decided if this is a good or bad thing, it's justification enough for me.

You can stop playing make believe now.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

and chimpanzees sling shit

Living on my own has forced me to adjust the way I think about space. At home, I had my room, which was my space and only my space, followed by the rest of the house, which was our space, and then there was outside, which was anything beyond the front door. Due to the fact that we're out near the sticks no one tended to drop by due to sheer inconvenience, and the house isn't really made for hanging out in. I don't think anyone has visited me at home home since high school. My space and our space didn't tend to be intruded on by anyone other than immediate family. And possums.

When I was up in Canberra, there was our space, and outside. Not having anywhere that was specifically my space taught me that I am, in fact, a guy. You know that whole spiel about how men need a den? Like, the shed in the back yard? Where they can go and Be Men without hinderance, or some such bullshit? Tessas are like that too. They need somewhere to go and Be Tessa, piss on the carpet and brood in peace.

Moving out of home was different again. My whole apartment became my space, and what with living without a fridge and thus having to venture out every day to eat for a whole month, and needing to go out for internet access, the entire city has become our space, and there is no outside. I haven't quite got to the point of going to the supermarket in my pyjamas, but I'm giving it serious consideration.

Having the apartment as my space has taken a bit of getting used to, as suddenly I don't live out near the sticks and it is more than convenient to have friends come over and chill on my kitchen floor, which means there are people in my space.


Even though I like these people and I've specifically invited them, they're in my space! Looking at my stuff! They're Looking! At! My! Stuff! Making! Judgements! About! Me! Augh! Which is something that I'm getting better at dealing with, but I am still struck by the overwhelming urge to tell good friends of mine to GTFO. Which is rude. I guess I'm a very territorial person, and that's a reason, not an excuse.

Which is all very interesting, but it's only to provide you with the adequate background knowledge to fully appreciate just how fucking stressful having strangers inspect my place is. Strangers who apparently have enough money to go around buying inner city apartments. Who may or may not kick me out, who knows? Because having the strangers who currently own the place demand a $25 a week rent rise isn't stressful enough. Strangers! In MY SPACE!

After the inspection, you're damn right I pissed all over the carpet.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


I am an Editorial Assistant for Weird Tales.

No, really.

See, how it works is, well, just imagine that the slush pile is the fridge, right? Ann, being Fiction Editor and thus Head Chef, is rummaging through the fridge looking for amazing food. I am in the kitchen because, I dunno, I'm picking my nose or stealing biscuits or something. Every now and then, Ann pulls out something like milk, sniffs it, turns to me and asks, "does this seem alright to you?"

If sniffing the milk kills me, then Ann does not use it.

If I read your story, it means Ann, that most cunning and savy and sly editor, is undecided on the merit of your story. What that really means is that You Are Doing It Wrong. In order to avoid such a fate and thus keep your story as far from me as possible, WRITE OARSUM.

And if you don't believe me, my name is in the last two issues. It's okay to check. To be honest, I didn't really believe it till I saw it myself. I'm chuffed and more than a little humbled to be involved. Many, many thanks to Ann.

Issue #34 of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine is currently available for download as PDF for $4.95AUD. The last story in it is mine, precious, mine! Bitter Elsie Mae is a story of a ship gone bad, as only ships can. It was spawned in week 3 of Clarion South 2005 and Ellen Datlow did not die upon reading it. This publication meets my very low standards of what is required in order to call myself a writer. Even if I am not, in fact, writing.

Also, Daikaiju 3, which contains my giant crab story (actually titled One Night On Tidal Rig #13), is now available in hardcover. So even if I am never ever published again, I can still say I've been published in hardcover.


Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Matt Staggs, over at Enter The Octopus, gathered together a lovely collection of pictures of coconut crabs-

-which you can view here.

Coconut crabs fall into a sort of "uncanny valley" when it comes to oversized animals. There is a point at which making an animal bigger than normal does not make it scarier than normal, and that is about the size of a small to medium dog. Seriously, if you can drop kick it, it isn't scary. If you can stop it with a golf club, it is not scary.

Still, I wouldn't want to drop kick a coconut crab. I imagine it'd hurt. Incidently, if you happen to be pinched by a coconut crab, the best way to make them let go is tickle their belly. With a feather. Plying them with red wine doesn't hurt either.

Now, I'm sure you've all heard about the defrosting of the Colossal Squid, that which is the MOST BADASS creature of the world. Seriously? BAD. ASS. Bigger than the Giant Squid, and a damn sight grumpier too. Did you know it has HOOKS?


I'd also like to draw your attention to this sentence, contained in the above linked article:

The Colossal Squid can cloak itself similar to a Klingon Bird of Prey.

Which, actually, a lot of sea beasties can do, but such a trait can only ever add to the BADASSNESS of such a magnificent beastie.


(gakked from artbroken, Ironman and Batman do not play together well.)

(gakked from some guy at work: hip-hop about the superiority and delight known as tea. WORD UP.)

And I know you've all seen this article about the sexually frustrated seal;

The seal then alternated between resting on the penguin, and thrusting its pelvis, trying to insert itself, unsuccessfully.
After 45 minutes the seal gave up, swam into the water and then completely ignored the bird it had just assaulted, the scientists report.

But I believe it needs repeating.

45 minutes! XD



(Except for that bit in the middle where I dreamt of, I shit you not, the zombie apocalypse. At the time, I was back in high school, and on a school camp. We were doing school camp type things, which largely involved swimming around some underwater palace (which was more than my actual school camps involved), and the teachers hearding us into a dinky little cottage country cafe, all the while this incredible sense of impending doom was growing, and for no very good reason that I could see. The teachers began pushing and whispering to get us back to camp, NOW, except there were no buses or cars. There were, however, helpful people with horses. Yeah. Who put us in groups of three to a horse (THREE TO A GODDAMN HORSE!?!? WTF!?!?!). Try organising a whole year level of high school kids into groups of threes when a whole heap of them have never ridden before, and none of us know what is going on other than something BAD was happening. This didn't last long, as other people turned up - what helpful people country folk are! - with more horses. I sat on a hoary old nag which would not stop walking, no matter how tight I pulled the reigns in. Teachers and horsey people had us lined up around a paddock, and were running around getting everyone saddled and seated, ready to trot off back to camp, and on this pain in the arse horse I walked around, and around, and around this loop of all my school mates, catching snippets of conversation that involved zombies, and further snippets that indicated exactly how freaked out everyone actually was, and this horse WOULDN'T STOP WALKING. I had an EPIPHANY; the zombie plague did not originate in Gippsland, it had finally reached Gippsland, but did not originate there. The suburbs of Melbourne were already over run, and in fact so was all Australia. There was no where for us to go, no safe places left in the world, but still, we must go. That's what teachers do, guide their students away from danger. But my god, it takes a long time to get hundreds of kids on horses. And then, just when finally, everyone was ready, there was one shrill scream, and I looked over my shoulder, past everyone else, and saw ONE ZOMBIE. SHAMBLING. VERY SLOWLY. And that was all it took to start an insane panic, a stampede into a highway full of cars, with half of us unhorsed and trampled, and the rest of us with no safe place to go to.)

(When I woke up, I was in my old room, which achieves pure darkness, in my old home, which achieves pure silence, and you're damn right I freaked the fuck out.)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


With no requests made it was artists's choice. The artist is feeling decidedly besieged at the moment, and has chosen to illustrate her headspace thus;

She is trapped at the top of a burning building. The burning building happens to be on a ship, which is sinking. There are velociraptors in the burning building. There are sharks in the water. Should she, either through dumb luck or cunning, avoid the raptors, being burned, falling to her death, drowning, and being eaten by sharks, there is still a GIANT FUCKING ASTEROID come to destroy all life on Earth. Halleh-fucking-lujaaaaah.

Many thanks to Larry, Gillian, Andrew, Baz, Chris, ~, and Jaime for their assistance in this surprisingly gruelling endeavour; they share equal blame. FOR SRS.

Monday, May 05, 2008

When our powers combine...!

Here we see SUPERPOPE, who had thought to give PAVAROTTI his Last Rites, only to be surprised as the PHOENIX, which had been chilling in Pavarotti's immense paunch, launches itself into freedom and glory. Superpope takes this badly, and is about to go all hadouken on the phoenix's ass. He has conjured that most holy power, the YEARD OF GOODKIND. In the corner Statler and Waldorf are on COMMENTARY, and they are not impressed. Statler has a GLISTENING SCALP, due to incidents which he will not be relating at this point in time.

Sunday, May 04, 2008


In this piece we see a confrontation between MONKEY, Great Sage, Equal of Heaven, and a MEXICAN NINJA MARIACHI BAND. The NINJAS are attempting to distract Monkey with sweet music, but he thinks their music sucks, and is giving them the finger. The middle ninja has noticed that they are standing in PURPLE COFFEE, and the right-most ninja does not like the way the purple coffee is soaking his feet. Maraccas ninja is doing a stunning surprise attack, and Monkey is totally going to whup his ass. This event takes place outside the window of an actual ass, who is calling the cops on these damn low-life punks.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Unlimited Power

Here we see the Great Nostromo, a MAN WITH UNCANNY NOSTRIL POWERS, using his particular talents for evil. HAIRY MCTAVISH, THE SCOTTISH DANCING WOMBAT, has been caught unawares and, jig disrupted, is about to meet a very sticky end. Along with some detatched assmonkey TOES and autonomous PURPLE COFFEE.

This is all taking place inside the WORLD'S BIGGEST CHIKO ROLL.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Before The Other War

Here we have a depiction of that eternal conflict between ASSMONKEYS and CTHULHU'S GONADS. On the left, BOOMzilla and the CCTV Allstars jam out death metal on their ACCORDIANS, in the first opening salvo of the battle. The assmonkeys mosh and work themselves into a beserker rage. Being as it is very cold, some of the assmonkeys have elected to wear BOOTS. Those who haven't have had some of their TOES fall off, but in the heat of the moment have failed to notice.

To the left is an interdimensional portal through which the offspring of Cthulhu's gonads are pouring. Being as they do not have feet, they are not wearing boots. Nevertheless, the cold affects them and they have shrunken somewhat.

In the centre is the GYPSY CAB DRIVERwho, being a cab driver, has no idea where she is going and has thus found herself between these two titanic armies. Her friend has just noticed WILLIAM SHATNER'S TOUPEE being wielded by one of the gonads, and realises he has finally discovered the CURE to his poison. He's about to spill his PURPLE COFFEE on his lap in his excitement. They're both going to die horribly.

A LONE FIGURE ON A TRICERATOPS is present in the distance. They are eating chips. With gravy.

Mmm. Gravy.

I like to call this piece "Oh Holy Fuck I'm Going To Die".

Thursday, May 01, 2008

After The War

What we see here is the aftermath of that most EPIC BATTLE between Cthulhu and ASSMONKEYS, which saw the assmonkeys most victorious. As they prepared themselves for DINNER TIME and armed themselves with SILVERWARE to feast upon his testicles, Cthulhu had the last laugh as his GONADS flew away.