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Wasn't kidding about the dreams

So, I dreamt that there was some kind of sentient building that existed in another dimension with a sky but no ground. It had no distinct form and became whatever its observer expected - a castle in some cases, an office building or a glass penthouse in others. It was predatory somehow, and it needed something from the thoughts of others. In particular, it targeted parents and their children because their minds were easier to use. It would insinuate itself into their heads so that they would find themselves inside it and not feel alarmed - but once it had what it wanted they would be expelled into the cloudy void. When it had a family it would wait until they were asleep inside, and then The Wolf would appear. The Wolf stalks over to them and enters their dreams, whispering thoughts into their heads, and uses trickery to try to separate them from each other and lead them astray. Sometimes it would take several tries to be test their vulnerabilities, but then it would carry each child away to an "adventure" in a make-believe world. The underlying world was the same but, like the building, would appear different based on the child and their mental state.

It began with a little boat ride, Charon-style, to The Rabbit Village, which was built upriver to harness a nearby waterfall that marked the boundary of the inner kingdom. On other occasions the boat traveled through a dense forest to a rural steampunk version of this place, where the rabbits carried gatling hunting rifles or something. But on this one it lead through a swamp to a tightly militant, renaissance version where occupying Imperial Lapine Divisions carried sleek, polished muskets issued by the state against some looming enemy. The world was presented to its guest as a game which would continue to change based on their decisions, and they could even change themselves into different characters (of differing ages, ethnicities, and genders). Negative actions, for instance, would make the village turn to night and become menacing and dangerous. Positive ones made it brighter, but excessive "easy-mode" decisions would regress the world into a creepy live-action kids show, which was no good at all. On arrival it was nebulous and overcast, a clinging fog rolling in from the water and obscuring its details. As I took on the role of the protagonist I decided I wanted not to be strangled in the dark by serial murderers (even though it was some sort of faux-Halloween celebration going on) and opted for a sun-run. Sunny bunnies of war, huzzah... however, to keep the balance I sort of went for a young-adult fiction drama, which might have been a mistake. Some kind of SWAT team promptly rappelled into the village and there was a deadly firefight. After a little guerrilla warfare they were all dead, but someone in the village was a mole for the enemy, and I had to root them out from amongst my new associates. Turns out it was the local witch. She owned a hover tank. SO it became time to flee the Rabbit Village over an aqueduct as raining tank shells blew out chunks of it, and the dream never resolved because my piece of shit phone went off with an unintelligible spam message probably sent by my idiot family. The end.

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BIBLE BEATDOWN


You know you can't get enough!

I just saw a movie.

I had a free pass for it mind you, and I cannot in good conscience recommend anybody pay to see it. But oh my goodness, what a movie. How can you watch this trailer and not yearn to have more of that hot salvation crammed up your God-shaped faith hole? There's just too much awesomeness to take in all at once, so I'm going to have to break it up into sections. Let's do this.

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First!
Part 2 - Love me or else!
Part 3 - Philosophical Kombat!
Part 4 - Deux ex machina!

"ROAD CLOSED"

-says the line of barricades blocking the forest road to work one damp afternoon. Snap decision time: be fired for showing up late a 3rd time in the same month due to unanticipated water disasters, or cross the fucking barricade.

There's something very The Walking Dead about pushing a bicycle up a normally-congested roadway now eerily vacant of humanity. There's a certain freedom to realizing you can be in any part of any lane you feel like because no one else is coming - but it is tinged with the anxiety of an unexplained threat which could make itself known around any turn. No sign of trouble yet, since the road stretches off more than a mile over the Sisyphean hill of bicycle-eating death I take 6 days a week, which is barren save for rotting coyotes and plastic flowers memorializing where people died - but those are there every day. After taking the long bend down and through the rocky valley, the threat materializes:

TURKEY APOCALYPSE. Hordes of wild turkeys have overthrown the city. I may be the only human left. But I've been infected... I don't know how much time I have... Soon I too will be a turkey prowling the street for living giblets. Gobble gobble.



lol j/k. It was a horrible traffic wreck with an overturned semi truck.



Those things draped over the trees are downed power lines. Not pictured: a fleet of 5+ PG&E trucks and the police. Apparently this fellow lost control descending the moist death hill, swerved into oncoming traffic and then off-road, cutting super-deep tire gouges in the surrounding hillside, flipped on its side and hit a utility pole - possibly to avoid a turkey. The driver was implausibly fine. On approach I started quickly composing stories in my head of what to explain to the cops guarding the site. But they weren't interested, so I was neither fired nor arrested and neither were there any manhunts for wanted killers. Least worst day ever.

Pleasantest dream in weeks

So, I dreamt that I was an adolescent living in an abandoned hospital or a research center or something, and that I was deathly ill due to a contaminant introduced by some rival group that needed members of my family dead for vague political and/or financial purposes. [Possibly they are all Vladimir Putin.] And I'm moving through stretches of dirty, dimly sunlit hallways with paint peeling off the walls, staggering away from the echoing shrieks of a pair of demon harpies that have been summoned to more thoroughly assassinate me. They are invisible to humans, and can only be perceived by the damned and those condemned to die. They soon corner me in a narrow storage room, and after clamoring across overturned gurneys and other dilapidated pieces of medical equipment to evade their swiping claws I grab a sharp implement and mortally stab one of them deep in the abdomen, and she collapses. The harpies are twin sisters, or something, and the other one stops to lament over her body as she bleeds out on floor. This makes me feel bad, so I crawl down from the junk heap aside her disconcerted and bewildered twin to treat her wound, and with the equipment on hand I manage to save her life. Warily, the pair of demons stands down and shrinks into the shadows. Following this encounter, I stumble out of the doorways of the building but quickly collapse in public due to the aforementioned illness. People gather in a circle and call a doctor, but the old man who responds is actually the guy who's been trying to kill me the whole time. As he leans in to finish me off, the harpies descend on him and shred him apart in front of the horrified and ignorant crowd, for whom their talons remain unseen save for he and I.

In a continuing spin-off of this dream, I am now a grizzled horse-riding bandit character of some kind, who like the majority of bandits robs people for a living. That, and I also seem to work for the place I work for IRL. METAPHOR. One day, due to very crime much banditry wow, I am awarded access to the secret basement level of my workplace accessible only by venetian canal, extending from the local southwestern-style gated vacation community for management Übermenschen. The canal descends into damp, candlelit, subterranean chambers adorned with blue and white murals of dancing, angular, dubiously en-mammaried secretary-bird-monsters, and it is here that work uses to call up the lord of the demon harpies, who bears a striking resemblance to Baron Samedi in teashades. He grants me the power to summon invisible harpy swarms to attack people in a Death Note-like fashion, which is productive for criminality. But the consequence of using this power is the foreknowledge of my own fated execution, which will be in just two years by hanging, and that is less productive. Naturally I see all the demons, because I am damned and/or soon to die. The end.

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Suddenly salamander



Go away, nature. I'm not speaking to you anymore.





Goddammit.

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Nothing is easy

Well. It's not the worst night I've ever had. That would have to go to the night I was simultaneously evicted and hospitalized within a 24 hour period, or worse nights I do not care to describe here. Still, it was one of those epically cursed experiences that can really only happen to me. Am I being melodramatic? Read on.

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Death from above

I'd never seen a real meteor before, but I have as of last night. It probably helps living in a dark wilderness blighted of civilized structures. Oh, I've seen shooting stars during "meteor showers" before - those teeny little white blinks of banality - this was not like it that. It was a screamingly obvious, bright green flare burning a thick, pulsing line to the forest at incredible speed. A lot like this, but obviously greener. My first thought was a freakishly oversized and badly misaimed firework, or maybe an aircraft with some bizarre experimental fuel was exploding its way to earth. But it was way too fast, and by the time I'd hit the brakes going up the lightless forest mountain on my bicycle and had the thought to photograph it, it had already crossed the sky and burnt out in a final flare of tacky green. I sat still for awhile expecting to hear a calamitous BOOM somewhere off in the hills, maybe accompanied by one of those Hollywood mushrooming fireball killsplosions and like a death-of-Sauron shockwave or something, but I suppose it disintegrated. And since the forest didn't burn down last night I guess that's that.

Wet scaly doom

So, I dreamt I was living on a sparsely populated planet of oceans and jungles. Sparsely populated because the planet was also occupied by three titanic "Storm Fish" (which look sort of like angelfish) roaming the oceans. The sweeping of their fins causes tsunamis and once, long ago, all three of them met face to face to face and they wiped out civilization. The remnants of humanity huddle their settlements around these monolithic green pylons from a lost age, arranged in vast lines crossing the planet. They provide electricity, and the result is a society combining ancient and futuristic technologies. I am out hiking over the tropical hills with a female friend to meet up with another friend who lives by the beach. There's a lot of rocky, cloud-nestled vistas overlooking lush, tropical valleys rolling towards the glittering sea and bathed in the warm hues of sunset and all that shit, and as per usual I take out my camera to commemorate visuals which will fail to be commemorated once I wake up and remember I cannot transfer dream-photos into actual data.

We make it to our friend's house, a dark wooden cabin on stilts above the sand, and catch her staring wistfully at the sky. She has short white hair, and like all white-haired people around the age of 20 she's magic or something. I turn upward to catch what she's looking at and the sky is full of sea turtles, all paddling through the clouds in the same direction. (You might've thought that sea turtles live in the sea and have flippers in order to move through water, but that's because you're stupid.) Our white-haired friend sadly sighs that the migration of the sky-sea-turtles prophesizes the convergence of the Storm Fish to once again purge civilization. Bummer. Let's go down to beach to get our minds off it.

We walk along the beach, encountering an encampment of goblin-crickets. They live in a series of small mud-huts adhered to the sides of what look like BBQ skewers sticking out of the sand. Goblin-crickets are highly aggressive and territorial, but also very tiny, so you don't really need to worry about their attacks but it's polite not to rile them up. They look like black little cricket-men wielding spears, but there appears to be only one of them outside in the entire encampment. He haughtily proclaims that their culture demands outsiders passing through their lands first announce their presence by shattering one of the tiny bottles hanging from the Welcoming Pole in the center of the encampment. Which my other friend does. And then does again. And again. What are you doing? She doesn't know. She doesn't remember what she's doing or how she got here. Hmm! Oh yeah, did I mention? My other friend is also part of some magical bullshit elf race or something, and one of their attributes is that they are psychically attuned to the Convergence of the Storm Fish and begin losing all their memories when that happens. Also, they're shapeshifters. What do they shapeshift into? Screws. Yes, screws. Seriously. She shapeshifts into a 3-inch wood screw on the spot and disappears into one of the waves lapping up on the shore. I root around frantically in the surf trying to find her, finding other types of screws... machine screws... sheet-metal screws... but no 3-inch wood screws. It's all very emotional.

OK, time out dream, what the fuck are you doing? What is this? This is not how you conduct a story. Get your shit together.

I beat it back to the settlement to warn everyone that fishy doom is upon us all. I will take this information to the highest authority in the land - the innkeeper. He's our leader for some reason. He's an old beardy dude working the bar in the medieval tavern downstairs by the docks (but with big cables and computer screens and techno doo-dads lying around, because reasons). This is grave news indeed. He remarks that he will gather his innkeepingest army against the fish, and we just might stand a chance from being forewarned - although legend recalls that the previous, much more technologically coherent civilization marshaled their mightiest steel battleships against just one fish and their efforts were "as throwing stones against smoke," and were all wiped out in a single fin-swipe, but y'know. It's fine. In the meantime, I must travel the world and spread news of the coming threat to all the lands and yadda yadda to unite against icthyo-tyranny. Of course, few people even believe in the fish anymore so good luck with that.

I travel by night across an enormous suspension bridge to one of the neighboring, more militant and more oppressive islands. The bridge is ancient and in disrepair, so I have to creep along the pipes on its underbelly. Also I don't want to get spotted by the searchlights of the patrols guarding the other side of the bridge, due to their militancy and oppressiveness. I get a vaguely North Korean vibe from them, but they do know how to throw colorful luaus. North Korean luaus. I end up at one of them and try to blend in with the festivities. My friend is there too, apparently. (The same friend(s)? I don't know, the dream isn't clear on that.) Important people are at this gathering, so together we have to recon the situation without arousing suspicion. But there's a problem: Cameron Diaz's character from The Counselor is here.

OK, let me take another time out to explain The Counselor. The main point of this movie that Cameron Diaz is a cheetah. In fact, that should have been the title of the movie: "Ridley Scott Presents Cameron Diaz is a Psycho Cheetah Woman." Technically, there's something about drug cartels and the titular counselor who is also in the movie somewhere, but really the plot is that Cameron Diaz is a cheetah furry lifestyler and she has to wreck everyone's shit and cause necrophilic rape-decapitations of bystanders while having sex with your car because that's what cheetahs do, amiright? There are like 3 decapitations and a hundred instances of incredibly blunt cheetah symbolism as a metaphor for Cameron Diaz, who is herself a metaphor for the primal car-fucking nature of the Mexican drug war or something I don't know.

So, Cameron Diaz is here and that's bad. In fact, she is somehow aligned with the pro-fishpocalypse front working clandestinely to screw everybody because that's what a cheetah would do. (WWCD?) And there's money, because there's always money. So, our mission becomes breaking into Cameron Diaz's safe in her trailer and retrieving her documents to prove to the island officials at the luau that they are catspaws in her fishy cheetah schemes. And we're also stealing her money. We sneak in, break into her safe and take her everything, but she catches us halfway through and furiously cheetahs after us through the luau as we try to stop her with fire and poison, until the dream completely loses cohesion and I wake up without any satisfactory conclusion to the fish story. They probably destroyed the world, because that's what big fish do. Just like cheetahs. The end.

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lapse of tradition

THREE jobs + never unburied tools after move + problems³ = no pumpkin time this year.

But I'll whip up something else.

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Happy Bart day to you

Happy Bartolomé Day everybody!

To celebrate, don't commit any crimes against humanity today.

LIZARD BIRTHDAY!!!




A preview of your future!!!
This angle is different!!!
Look forward to this!!!
OH YES, there WILL be lizard breastfeeding just before I handle your food!!! IT'S NOT AWKWARD IT'S NATURAL!!!
HEY YOU!!! Yes, YOU!!! It's a lizard's birthday this weekend so of course we're throwing a party!!! That's right!!! And I expect each and every one of you I even vaguely know to be there IN PERSON for FUN FUN FUN!!! What's that? "I work for a living during the day"? That's not an excuse!!! Drop in on your break to bask in the physical presence of the lizard as a meaningless token gesture!!! "But I live greater than an hour outside your city"? Fuck you!!! Be there and have fun or I will openly denounce you on Facebook as a lizard-hater who only lives to crush lizards' feelings!!! :D WOOO!!! Here's how it will go down: First, you will each express your gratitude to the lizard in turn, despite that it is unable to comprehend language and believes you stop existing when it isn't looking at you!!! Then you will lavish tributes upon the lizard: gold is expected, but frankincense and myrrh are also acceptable!!! "But I'm barely employed and can't afford food for myself"? Got you covered!!! Sloppy tacos will be personally presented to you made with my bare, unwashed hands from things I found growing outside!!! I will stand there and watch you eat them!!! You may remember that last year's party was cut short by everyone simultaneously developing violent nausea and diarrhea, but that is a thing of the past because the power of PRAYER will protect you!!! Motivational gospel messages and uncomfortable music will inspire you as we each take turns staring at the lizard!!! You will then be expected to make noises at the lizard and hold the lizard!!! Polite refusals will not be accepted as answers!!! And don't worry about getting bored, because I have album upon album of pictures of the lizard in KUH-RAZY scenarios!!! Being a lizard in my lap!!! Being a lizard in a chair!!! Being a lizard next to a computer!!! Being a lizard on a boat!!! Being a lizard with a goat!!! This list extends beyond the comprehension of man or God into the black and remorseless void of time!!! Party begins in the afternoon and languishes on into the cold hours of the early morning like a bedridden cancer patient praying for release!!! You may be expected to stay the night!!!

Par-tay everybody, be there wooooo!!! I AM KEEPING A NORMAL FAMILY THAT DOES NORMAL THINGS AND I WILL NOT HAVE YOU FUCKING THIS UP FOR ME!!! Have fun!!!
 
 
 
 
P.S. If you have ever wondered if people secretly resent you for making them attend parties for your infant the answer is YES ALL OF THEM DO.

Every day.



"oh my god i have to do this thing but i'm so tired i can't even think fuck it i'm going to bed"

Two hours pass lying in bed, without falling asleep.

"Brain... Fuuuuuuuck. Youuuuuu."

Trikotomy builds stink boxes

 
 
 
 
 
 


Put this together yesterday. I made it out of a wood shipping crate from China (and it shows, I'm sure). Many months ago, my old job threw it out and I decided to loot it and fill it with snakes. This was out of the need for a size upgrade, something with customizable safety, and something slightly more discrete than a glass box, due to apartment managers who would illegally break into my place without warning on a monthly basis to show buyers (which was a whole thing I'll get into some other time). However, I planned to ship it to the opposite side of the continent, so after pre-cutting all the pieces, staining/sealing them, and tabulating the theoretically needed hardware and painting it, I boxed it all up never to actually be assembled. But I guess I'll be here awhile.

The two front panels detach to reveal glass (shown with brave test snake). And I cut panels to make a divider down the center for sectional cleaning safety and a shelf to store equipment through the top access, but I haven't put them in. Here's detail of the cool handles... I have a cool lock to go with them but it's one of the things not in my possession at present. (Incidentally, there's something terribly appropriate about Ganesh, the Lord of Obstacles, as a lock.) There are some issues with it- one being that after sitting in a box unseen for several months I forgot what went where and had to redrill some stupid mistakes, which will later have to be filled in and their splintery edges re-sealed. There are like 4 different metal colors going on here, and I'd like to paint the screws black should I ever encounter a craft store in the middle of the forest.

And then... there's the stain. See, I never stained wood before and knew nothing about the subject - apparently changing the color from Chinese shipping crate blonde and getting it all smooth and water resistant are two totally different and expensive things. There aren't very many options in the two hippytown hardware stores, and the only nice colors come with a warning of incompatibility with anything I care about doing. But wait, here's Minwax "Polyshades - stain and polyurethane in 1 STEP!" in an okay, dark, non-wretched color. Suspiciously convenient! Is it water based? Because that's what my inadequate research suggests I should look for in a non-toxic animal enclosure. "Uh sure, it should be," says hardware McGee.

Yeah no, it isn't. It is oil-based, and it has a super-strong boiling plastic smell. But that's cool, because it just has to cure and then it will taper off-- right?

There's a mighty aura of it engulfing the yard a day later. And the next day, stronger than when it was wet with the sun on it now. I used one thin coat. Okay internet, what is up with the smell? "Minwax Polyshades off-gasses fumes after curing." Uh huh, and how long will it be doing that? "Years." FFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUU-

SO, I went back to the store for some ACTUAL water-based Zar acrylic sealant and slapped that over it; it's absurdly shiny now but the smell went down dramatically. But it's still seeping out. Forever. You definitely notice it in a room with still air, even months later today. Fortunately I only did the outside with it. Some other reptilian internet people have used the same product and while they mainly report that it's the WORST at its job and will stink until the sun engulfs our planet, no one I can find has reported a sick animal and some even go so far as to call it "safe." So. I guess I'll use it anyway. After all I couldn't just waste all that effort and resources... right?

So now you know what not to do, thanks to the endless cautionary tale that is Trikotomy.
NSFW.



Eugh... here comes another piece of ignorantly optimistic claptrap trying to get me to smile. Fine. Let's do this.

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:D


Well played, Pinkie. Well played.