Dream, 12:38 P.M.

I was in a warehouse. The director (played convincingly by Deacon Mark) told me that they wanted very immediate responses, so I should just go with whatever direction I received. They handed me a steno pad and a pen, then sent me next door to a house. In the front entryway there was a camera crew and a life-sized cardboard cutout of Al Pacino. "You are Hunter S. Thompson" was written on Al Pacino's chest in black sharpie. "Okay..." I said in a drawn out way (getting a big laugh from the crew) and down the hall I went. Raksha, wearing her goth princess dress, was sitting on the bed in one of the rooms. NerdyGirl lead me toward the back of the house, then out to the back porch. They wouldn't let us play baseball because we didn't speak Spanish. I went back into the house, and there was another cutout of Al Pacino. This one said "Now, you are David Schwimmer." I thought, "I should be like Ross now, but I didn't watch the show that much, and I'm really more of a Chandler kind of guy." As I made my way back toward the front, I found Raksha and NerdyGirl lying in bed together. They were both under the covers, showing shoulders in that way that movies use to tell you they are naked. Raksha was lying face down with her hands on her arms. NerdyGirl was kissing her shoulderblades and Raksha had a blissful expression on her face. Looking a bit guilty, NerdyGirl made eye contact with me and I said, "I don't blame you, I'd be doing that too if I were you." I put the steno pad and the pen down on the table behind Al Pacino and went outside.

At this point, for no apparent reason, I awoke.

"Portrait of the artist as a Greek Fisherman."
(There is a much worse one where I am wearing this hat backwards...)

The Things I've Seen

Faithful readers may recall that about this time last year, the Reverend had an "encounter" with a drag queen. At this year's Drag Queen Bingo, a member of the Inquisition snapped this photo of that same young lady as she performed, that I might have a keepsake of my ordeal...

It's no wonder I don't sleep well.

The Same in Russian

She is here tonight, sleeping at a terminal. It's comfortable in the lab tonight, warm even, but she is cold. In addition to a sweatshirt, she wears a knitted hat, scarf, and gloves - a matching set. Her ever-present iPod is oddly missing tonight.

So is Ag Boy. As I suspected, they've split up.

He had really tried. She was beautiful, smart, and really excited about him, so he had tried to be excited about her. After about the third week, he knew she was much more interested in him than he was in her. His previous romantic experience had consisted of 6 months of sexless dating in high school and one frantic evening in a dorm room his sophomore year, so he was in no shape to handle what she had to offer. The knowledge of what it meant to be loved by her came into focus side-by-side with his own inadequacies. Fear won the day, and he withdrew. After week five, he began to envision the end. He planned how he'd tell her, when, and where.

He wanted to be classy about it. He had pondered flowers and a well-written letter explaining his reasons for letting her go, including a rational argument that proved he was acting in her best interest - but he knew he was no writer, and the desire to end it was a protective measure for himself anyway. The semester dragged on - week nine, week eleven.

He thought about starting a fight with her. Her English wasn't all that good so he figured it would be easy - he'd win the fight and break it off at the same time, and if he played it right she'd even walk away hating him, so there was no chance of attempts at reconciliation. The problem was, she gave him no reason to fight. She was sweet, kind, and attentive in a way that was dead in American girls. Week twelve.

In the end, he decided to just sit down and talk with her. His older sister had even been in favor of this plan and she never approved of anything he did, so he thought he must be on the right track. He tried to choose the day carefully, so as to not interfere with any of her tests or big assignments - after all, he was just a coward, not a complete jerk. A Wednesday was chosen, when they would meet for dinner as usual.

He hadn't counted on the Russian. He was prepared for tears, or maybe even angry accusations, but not the steady stream of Russian that fell from her lips. It didn't seem like curses, nor was it the sweet purring of their intimate moments; more like the self-talk of the homeless, the addicted, the broken.

"We need to talk." He cringed as the lame words hit the floor between them. She knew immediately - apparently that's how break-up speeches start in Russia, too. She nodded that she understood, and started to stuff things into her backpack. He stopped her, sat her back down. Somehow, it seemed wrong for her to let him off that easily. Some part of him wanted the misery of talking it through, to purge him and punish him for being too weak to be with her.

She listened as he explained. At some point she had been nodding - the distance between them made sense now - and a few murmered Russian words of acknowledgement had escaped her lips.
"да, я понимаю." (Yes, I understand.)

He hadn't heard. She removed his blue sweater, mussing her hair in the process.
"Вы ломаете вверх с мной." (You are breaking up with me.)

He couldn't have understood, of course. He was still talking, about graduation, and grad school, and long distance relationships, and cultural differences, and how he couldn't live overseas.
"Вы до конца с мной." (You are through with me.)

He heard her. "What was that?"
"Вы не полюбите меня больше." (You don't love me anymore.)

"Мы не находимся в влюбленности." (We are not in love.)

"I don't understand."
"Да, но я сделайте." (Yes, but I do.)

It went like this for several more minutes. She folded the sweater and placed it before him on the table like an offering, all the while telling him in Russian that she had enjoyed wearing it, that it needed to be dry cleaned, and that it needed to be repaired on the right sleeve.

By the end, he was stammering. She slowly packed her bag, then touched his face while saying "Я должен пойти классифицировать" (I have to go to class).

Without the blue sweater, the wind was sharper as she crossed campus. She fished out her gloves, scarf, and hat. She forgot about class, and came to the lab instead. She's still here. I'm glad to watch over her, and happy she's able to sleep.

The Pope's Email Address

No, not mine - the other Pope.


One of the cyberfaithful, Microdyke, brought this to my attention. The willingness of His Holiness to be cyberfriendly is laudable, but I hear he's already having some spam problems. Here's some stuff from his in-box:

"Enlarge your mitre - no pumps, exercises, or weights"

"Hot altarboys want to have sex with you tonight!"

"Benedict, we have your free Ipod!"

"Get Opus Dei, without a proscription" (if you get this joke, you must be Catholic...)

I think we should all send him a greeting - I dropped him a line, to reassure him that I'm just a phone call away if he's got any questions on this whole "Poping" thing. To let him know there's no hard feelings about last night's VFN attack, we're gonna' try to get together for lunch at Fat Burrito right after finals, then meet up with the Dalai Lama and his crew over at O'Dwyers for a couple pints. We're definitely gonna' need a designated driver...

Bio Science Flambe

So around 8:45 PM I get a text from my boss, Big Gay Jim, that says, "Call me about your shift tonight. Emergency."

Naturally, I panic. I figure that my nemesis, Benedict XVI, has finally figured out that my underground lair is in Laramie, and he's mobilized the St. Laurence O'Toole branch of the Inquisition to strike. I was just about to press the red button that activates Raksha and the G.I. Janes to defend the Black Vatican when it hits me; there's no way that Ratzinger knows my whereabouts - I'm too sneaky. In fact, I am Ten Ninjas.

Safe in that knowledge, I call Jim. Turns out that the Bio Science building (where I work) is on fire. Literally.

These photos were snapped by the brother of a classmate of a friend of the roommate of a guy that one of the cyberfaithful is sleeping with - I think his name is Dave...

As of 3:00 AM, the building was still off limits (no worries - I'm typing this from the auxillary bridge). While I'm not entirely ruling out the possibility that this was a poorly executed strike by VFNs (Vatican Fire Ninjas), I am pretty certain that investigators will find that it was actually caused by test anxiety. I imagine that some poor fratboy was studying in the lab when it hit him that partying for 12 weeks of a 14 week semester might result in suboptimal test performance - the stress resulting from thinking about telling his folks he failed Biology caused him to burst into flames. I bet the alcohol in his bloodstream made him go up like Chinese New Year...

Regardless of the cause, I'm putting the BCPs on alert and advising all reserve G.I. Janes to keep their armor-plated bras handy, just to be on the safe side...

(Darn fire buried the pretty anime girl post below...)

High Lord Fanboy Superior
As a lover of all things excessive, I have long admired the fanatical obssessiveness of Japanese fanboys. These guys worship their chosen anime goddesses with a passion that makes the most driven American fan seem positively healthy by comparison. For some, simply purchasing authorized merchandise is not enough - enter the scratchbuilder.

Scratchbuilding is building a model without instructions, using completely raw materials (not to be confused with "kit bashing" which is using pieces from other models to create something new). One of the most difficult forms of scratchbuilding is figure modeling, where the modeler sculpts a human(oid) figure from sketches, and naturally, the Holy Grail of figure modeling is the life-size figure.

The beautiful life-sized statues below are the work of Katsuya Matsumura.

I know what you are thinking - "My apartment is just too small to justify having a six foot tall statue of Maya in the living room..."
Matsumura-san has already considered your space restrictions - these statues do double duty as working pc cases.

Baby's got back...

You can just see the cords going under her hair.

Talk about breast implants...

Note the clever placement of the USB ports.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this pretty much makes ol' Katsuya the Kwisatz Haderach of Fanboys.

For step-by-step photos of the construction process, click here.

Roadside Oddities
Ever since I began making the drive between my self-imposed exile in Laramie and the unHoly Lands in Orange County, I have been meaning to get a picture of this road sign near Baker, California. Finally, I had the digital camera with me...

It turns out that there is quite a story behind this place.

Let's turn now to roadside attractions closer to home. In every community in which I have ever lived there has been a tacitly agreed upon grafitti location - a train trestle, water tower, abandoned factory, etc. - that has served as a tagboard for the youth of the area. Since the Front Range is known for its geologic structures, it is fitting that the youth around here communicate via rock. Usually, this Highway 287 landmark alternates between patriotic sentiments, proclalamtions of love, and motivational slogans for local prep sports teams. Recently however, it carried this observation:

It's funny 'cuz it's true...

No Name

I give them names. Our society has grown ever more distant; you can't just walk up to someone and talk to them, or ask them their name. So I give them names. The BioScience 37 Computer Lab repertory cast includes Homeless Lady, Janitor Guy, Chemistry Girl, Ag Boy, Dreadlock Guy, Red, and my favorite - Pretty Russian Girl.

She is here again. Like most nights, she was here when I got here at 3:00. She and I have spent countless hours together over this semester, but it's like the person you sit next to on a long plane flight. Physical proximity means nothing anymore. She could fall asleep, even let her head slip from that crappy little airline pillow to rest on my shoulder, but it would all be over as soon as we touched down.

She bobs her head gently to the tunes on her iPod and stares at her Email. Tall, and a bit too thin. Black hair in a sensible ponytail, just reaching her shoulders. Her fuzzy blue sweater is huge on her, sleeves folded back twice at the wrists. It looks like it might belong to him.

I'm tired, as are we all. This semester has been like a trip that's too long, and I want to go home now. I feel drugged; like I've been anesthetized to make it easier to stuff me in the overhead comparment. For seven hours last night I slept like the dead, but I still feel like a thin, watery substitute for myself.

And where is he tonight? He is usually at the next terminal, walled in behind piles of books on soils and irrigation and water rights. I always thought she was here because of him - the faithful girlfriend, not wanting to sleep alone, would accompany him to the lab while he wrote some rambling discourse on crop management in the high desert. I liked to imagine that they might hit Village Inn for breakfast as the sun was rising, then back to his place for a morning tumble and a brief nap before classes at 10:00.

We had a class together a few semesters back - Victorian Poetry. She always sat at the back. I think she might have been just auditing. She spoke only very rarely, and in a lush, warm accent; I remember she made some very cogent comments about parallels in Russian history when we studied Idylls of the King. I wonder how she gets through the day, coming here every night. Of course, folks wonder the same about me. At least once each night, she looks up, makes eye contact, waves and smiles. She remembers Victorian Poetry too.

It's just she and I here tonight, for about three hours. We sit at opposite corners of the lab, just about as far apart as possible. Periodically she looks over - to make sure I'm still here - and my worries grow.

Where is he? Did they fight? Her face is tired, but is it from studying or crying? Perhaps they split up because she is returning to Russia after graduation, and he couldn't handle these last few lame duck weeks. Will she give him the sweater back or keep it as a reminder of her American Ag Boy?

You just can't ask these questions. Even if I could ask, I don't think I really want to know. If I spoke to her, knew her name - it would all end. If I don't ask, she can remain Pretty Russian Girl, and I can keep her as a player in my little theatre of insomnia. I suppose that means that I like the alienation of the 21st century.

We are making our final descent now - I can tell because my ears are popping. She is huddled on her chair, her long legs folded, chin on her knees, hugging herself. No doubt the tunes on the iPod are sad ones.


I spend a lot of time alone with myself. Four hours every night. I think things. I sift out the inane and blog the rest. If I didn't sift, my blog would be the mental equivalent of a bareass Camel cigarette; you'd cough and choke on the first drag, and promise yourself that you'll quit. Hell, you may do that anyway. But I filter it for you. For my trouble, I've developed the writer's equivalent of a smoker's dry hack - my brain coughs, but nothing ever comes up. There's always something hanging in my throat, waiting to be expelled. It gets worse when I lay down.

If I were truly brave, I'd just post what's below without this intro. And I'd get half a dozen comments that all say, "Wow, Linus is on crack. Hee hee." But I'm not brave, and you are all too smart for that. This cigarette is puffed by the finest minds that the liberal arts can muster. You scientists out there think back to that one Lit. class you took Freshman year and try to keep up, 'kay?

You wonder how bad unfiltered could be. You might like it. You might start tearing the filters off of regular blogs, just because you like that searing sensation. Feel free to modify the world to suit your PoMo expectations.

Light up and enjoy.


Sleep? Sleep is for the weak. No cell phone use in the lab. I can sleep when I'm dead. Which may be soon if I don't get some sleep. Why doesn't Outlook Express work? She looks tired too. Hand Sanitizer doesn't taste good at all. New combo on the lockbox. If I go around the lab and bump the mouse at each station, the whole room glows blue - pretty. Pretty Russian Girl is here. No cell phone use in the lab. Who invented the whole circle and slash means "not allowed" sign? Mary Daly is funny. Really funny. Laugh out loud so that the other people in the lab think you're demented kind of funny. Creepy Guy is looking at porn again. The Bábís got a raw deal. No cell phone use in the lab, monkey fucker. Must write poetry for the banquet. He's a big one - Strong Soviet Mother would like him. My knee hurts. I'm hungry. Dreadlock guy is waking up. He smells like clove cigarettes. What is on her ipod? The Janitor looks suicidal. Solitaire at 4:30 - man, is he bored. My profile is whacked. Aikida is hot. I'm going to shove that cell phone up his ass. Emu bit me today. Blood blisters are cool, in an ouchy sort of way. Ouchycool. Spring is good. So is sleep. But sleep is for the weak. Why is she here every night? Why am I here every night? Oh yeah, the money. Step away from the fucking cell phone, ass pony. If I had money, I could stay home and sleep. It's like buying sleep. But I don't have money. I spent it on Taco Bell. Why aren't they open right now?

WARNING: Set mope filter to high.

22 days until the end of classes.
24 days until finals start.
30 days until Commencement.

Commencement. An odd word for it. It's probably called that to put a perky spin on what is really happening. If they called it "Endment" no one would come...

Except, of course, your parents. They have been waiting for you to commence for a long damn time now. They want you to commence looking for a "real" job, so you can commence taking care of yourself...so they can commence those golden years they promised themselves.

And the government - it wants you to commence as well, so you can commence paying taxes like a responsible adult, and commence paying those loans back, too.

They should call it "Dismantle-the-life-you-built-over-the-last-four-years-ment."

This is when we commence growing apart.
It's when we commence getting old.
Very soon we will commence looking back.

(If you are feeling the urge to commence writing a little note to Linus regarding the positive changes that will commence with the end of this semester, don't bother. He doesn't want to hear any shiney happy crap right now.)

Not a real post
This is only a test. Had this been a real post there would have been actual content, instead of this pathetic linkfest...

In an uncharacteristic show of wisdom, Raksha and I have decided to call our little contest a draw... just as well, because I was going to counter her mention of Celebrian (39 pages!?) with a little touch of Harry Potter Slash Fanfic *shudder* (if you don't know what "Slash" means in this context, count yourself lucky).

My brain needs a shower...

In somewhat cleaner crossover news, the Fruit Fucker 2000 makes his way to AppleGeeks. It must be late, because my response was, "Hey, I have that shirt too!"

The guys at Little Gamers point out the obvious...

Wade and Aikida have little spat.

And Oh My Gods! finally updated.

Logo update

In the best eclectic traditions of the Flock, Ryan has given us a logo that is an amalgam of several of the favorites...

Bow before the divine photoshop powers of the cybermighty Ryan!

NQ update

Raksha has risen to the challenge, and posted something of severe nerdiness, but naturally, I held a little something in reserve...

Prince of Tennis meets the Matrix

Prince of Tennis is a very popular homoerotic tennis anime. In this crossover, Neo and the Prince of Tennis regulars face off with Agents in a "hot boy battle" (according to the badly-translated tagline on the poster...)

Bring it, Raksha...

Jack, meet Jack...

Sometimes the NQ (nerd quotient) gets pretty high around here. Like, for instance, the other day when Raksha and I were discussing crossover comics.

For those who are not comic fans, a crossover is when characters from two (or more) stories meet up in a single book. It's fairly common among superheroes, especially if the titles are owned by the same company. It is however, unusual for a successful comic book cast to meet up with, say, the cast of a TV show that has been cancelled for 30 years. Leave it to Raksha to uncover this little gem... the Star Trek - X-Men crossover.

Not to be outdone, I did some searching for the oddest crossover I could find. Naturally, the Japanese continue to be innovators in sheer oddness... Pirates of the Carribean meets Nightmare Before Christmas.

There are actually three stories - here is the blurb from this one;
"Join Jack, Sally, Sparrow, and Will Turner as Jack meets Captain Sparrow for the first time and the pumpkin in the moon grants Jack's heart's wish to become human; Charming art and story; All ages."

Beat that, Raksha.