(you’re only as sick as your secrets)

Forever’s Not So Long

365: 85 - 26.03.09
365: 85 – 26.03.09

“..the sound of children crying in their beds in the night because something is wrong with them that they can never fix and so they must be braver, better, stronger, fiercer.”
– Hal Duncan, INK

There are lessons in this world that I should have learned by now: when to assess and turn away, when to see fire for flame. Clockwise consequences with no interpretation flux. (As piano kicks in as quiet and soft as what’s trapped beneath my skin.) I can’t help but feel I’ve been here before, as the edges of me shatter, as I prove myself again a wire too twisted not to break. Breathing in, a taste, I lose myself, caught in sincerity, a line, netted in the sweet, staring colour of maybe this time will be okay, no matter that I know better, no matter that this story is old, older than any one of us can see or even read in hard fossil beds, and I know all the endings, hungry, bruised, have been all the endings, myself a creature that doesn’t remember what being in love feels like, and have hated them. Breathing out, the pressure drops, leaving only anger screaming at myself, you ruin me, (us against the world, heart-breaking, and only for children too young to question myths), and I splinter, a massacre holding in what I can, as the pieces scatter, as sharp as my hopeless tongue, as defensive as a mirror, as iron unhappy as silence between friends. I think of my heart as being pierced, the truth that drove the boy Kay to run away with the Snow Queen, as the cold wraps me up, as my throat closes thick and my eyes sting shut, hollowing me clean, draining my blood corrosive of everything I need.

I have three tickets, one for me, one for David, one for Nicole

Chris Gilpin sent a message to the members of “The Vancouver Poetry Slam Finals featuring Shane Koyczan”:

Subject: Saturday is the last day of online ticket sales!

Saturday (that’s today!) is the last day of advance online ticket sales for Finals Night on Monday at the Rio Theatre. Demand has been greater than anticipated, and tickets are going fast. To get yours, go to


As of midnight tonight, we’ll be shutting down the online advance ticket sales, which are only $11, and you’ll have to pay $15 at the door.

And hey! did you see the feature article that the Vancouver Sun put out on our feature performer for Finals Night, Shane Koyczan:

He’s kind of big deal. Just sayin’. You really will be kicking yourself if you miss this show.

Yes, as a matter of fact, if the situation presented itself, I would do it.

Staring into the sky, wondering at the blue, mesmerized, I caught the corner of my bag on the edge of a newspaper box and immediately turned to apologize. The world is turning, bringing my patch of Earth into sight of the sun, yanking flowers out of their buds, insisting we all move forward, drag ourselves out of wool coats towards the light. I am meeting Michael for lunch again, as I have every day since we met on the bus two weeks ago. We sit in the park when the weather is like this and eat our sandwiches lying on a blanket made of our overlapping jackets. Soon it will be summer and we will no longer need our coats. What then? Perhaps I will keep a cloth folded in my desk for our noon hour picnics. Perhaps by then we’ll be dead. Why think about it now, when the sun is out and company waits?

what really happened at columbine

Laid out on the bed like a window display, later, Michael and Emily, Randa and her kitten, Nicole and Ray, hiding from hockey, from being outside. Someone laughs, percussive, a wildfire spreading. I smile as I stand in the doorway, warmed, another full pot of tea in hand, (the mellow red packet marked JOY in black letters), feeling welcome in my social space for the first time in a very long time, following the breadcrumb sound like a trail in a forest. It has been too long since I’ve had friends over, since I’ve done anything but hide out of town, too busy dismantling the quicksand feeling of holding onto a stalled relationship to have people over during the week or really go out. Already it’s gotten dark, but we don’t care if it’s getting late. We’re sitting in the comfortable jewel-tone pillow heart of our own entertaining light.

oh mercy


Over at BBGadgets, our Lisa Katayama has an incredible post up about a widow in Japan who is publishing an anthology of text messages she sent to her loved one, after his death.

Her husband, Motoo, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2006, probably from the steel pipe factory he worked at. He got worker’s comp, but the disease ultimately destroyed his lungs and left him with hallucinations for the remainder of his life. Shocked, the widowed Fukuda started sending text messages to her dead husband every time she thought of something she wanted to say to him. Things like: "I couldn’t live if I didn’t think you were still beside me. I can’t live [without you]. I’m crying every day" and "I want to call you ‘Otosan’ to my heart’s content. Why do you have to be inside such a small urn?" Every time she sent a message, the phone by his home shrine vibrated (she made sure it was always charged).

Woman publishes book full of text messages sent to her dead husband’s cell phone (BBG)

my tv-b-gone needs a new battery

Wired did a nice write-up of hackerspaces, featuring Mitch and Jake‘s NoiseBridge, where Lung and Natasha and I slept over our second night in San Francisco:

DIY Freaks Flock to ‘Hacker Spaces’ Worldwide

Noisebridge’s members have filled this small space with an enviable collection of shared tools, parts and works in progress.

"Since it was formed last November, Noisebridge has attracted 56 members, who each pay $80 per month (or $40 per month on the "starving hacker rate") to cover the space’s rent and insurance. In return, they have a place to work on whatever they’re interested in, from vests with embedded sonar proximity sensors to web-optimized database software. (…)

Noisebridge is located behind a nondescript black door on a filthy alley in San Francisco’s Mission District. It is a small space, only about 1,000 square feet, consisting primarily of one big room and a loft. But members have crammed it with an impressive variety of tools, furniture and sub-spaces, including kitchen, darkroom, bike rack, bathroom (with shower), circuit-building and testing area, a small "chill space" with couches and whiteboard, and machine shop. (…)

The drawers of a parts cabinet carry labels reflecting the eclecticism of the space: Altoids Tins, Crapulence, Actuators, DVDs, Straps/Buckles, Anchors/Hoisting, and Fasteners.

Almost everything in the room has been donated or built by members — including a drill press, oscilloscopes, logic testers and a sack of stick-on googly eyes. (…)

In Noisebridge’s case, the community had a boost thanks to Altman’s geek cred (he’s the inventor of the TV-B-Gone) and his connections to existing geek societies, such as Dorkbot, a monthly gathering of San Francisco techies. Other cooperative arts-and-technology spaces in the San Francisco area — such as NIMBY, The Crucible and CELLspace — also helped prepare the ground. And of course it helps that San Francisco is already receptive to geeks, anarchists and other square pegs.

The recent crop of hacker spaces has followed a rough blueprint prepared by Jens Ohlig called "Building a Hacker Space" (.pdf). Ohlig’s presentation is a collection of design patterns, or solutions to common problems, and outlines some of the best practices used by German and Austrian hacker spaces.

Many are governed by consensus. Noisebridge and Vienna’s Metalab have boards, but they are structured to keep board members accountable to the desires of the members. NYC Resistor is similarly democratic. Most of the space — and the tools — are shared by all members, with small spaces set aside for each member to store items and projects for their own use."

to further clarify/muddy the waters

Doctors confirm woman’s imaginary third arm.

I have returned from the Middle America with a ridiculous amount of ice-cream. Richard, my darling ride home, wanted to stop and shop on the way back, and blessed be, he had a cooler. Now my freezer is creaking at the seams like a cruelly overstuffed, force fed goose of pure deliciousness. Once again, I can spend time with a spoon and flavours like Hawaiian Lehua Honey & Sweet Cream ice-cream or Pomegranate Choco Chip, (not available in Canada), sold by the quart, (which also doesn’t happen up North). Life is good. (Though seriously, United States, knock it the fuck off with the corn syrup.)

Thankfully, too, life is good for other reasons. I have returned from Seattle spontaneously engaged to my friend Rafael, which was a bit of a surprise, even though I was the one who proposed, (while under the influence of vast quantities of chocolate and a rather well timed foot-rub), especially as I’m still single, which seems both seamlessly appropriate and monumentally unfair. As I said to Frank earlier, being a pair of only relatively nice Jewish children, we decided it would be the most fun if we continued with it enough to declare it three times in three days, which is sort of the Judaic networking equivalent to jumping over a broomstick, just to see what would happen. It’s not like we’re writing up a Ketubah or anything, (1. facebook 2. twitter. 3. livejournal), but as a social experiment goes, we’re rocking the house. His family, for example, seem to completely support us in this “decision” for no reason I can fathom.

Also while at Norwescon, I woke up wrapped in the embrace of two, count them, two incredibly distractingly attractive young men, something I’ve never done before, (no, I’m still not ‘getting any’, shove off you perverts), the morning after I gave up my last surviving pair of black pants for SCIENCE!!* Sexy SCIENCE!! even, as they were donated to further experimentation when it was discovered that once Tony‘s svelte, wiggling, dance-floor hips are sheathed in my pants instead of hidden under a kilt, they set the ladies on fire. I approve of ladies on fire. The only drawback is that I am now almost completely pantsless. So – internet – where does a girl go to buy black pants in Vancouver? I haven’t the vaguest clue.

In the Event That You Have Accidentally Swallowed the Higgs Boson

*SCIENCE!! is not actually real science, it is science with jazz hands.

more grim meathook future

via jwz:

You are being lied to about pirates

In 1991, the government of Somalia collapsed. Its nine million people have been teetering on starvation ever since – and the ugliest forces in the Western world have seen this as a great opportunity to steal the country’s food supply and dump our nuclear waste in their seas.

Yes: nuclear waste. As soon as the government was gone, mysterious European ships started appearing off the coast of Somalia, dumping vast barrels into the ocean. The coastal population began to sicken. At first they suffered strange rashes, nausea and malformed babies. Then, after the 2005 tsunami, hundreds of the dumped and leaking barrels washed up on shore. People began to suffer from radiation sickness, and more than 300 died.

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy to Somalia, tells me: "Somebody is dumping nuclear material here. There is also lead, and heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury – you name it." Much of it can be traced back to European hospitals and factories, who seem to be passing it on to the Italian mafia to "dispose" of cheaply.

At the same time, other European ships have been looting Somalia’s seas of their greatest resource: seafood. We have destroyed our own fish stocks by overexploitation – and now we have moved on to theirs. More than $300m-worth of tuna, shrimp, and lobster are being stolen every year by illegal trawlers. The local fishermen are now starving. Mohammed Hussein, a fisherman in the town of Marka 100km south of Mogadishu, told Reuters: "If nothing is done, there soon won’t be much fish left in our coastal waters."

This is the context in which the "pirates" have emerged. Somalian fishermen took speedboats to try to dissuade the dumpers and trawlers, or at least levy a "tax" on them. They call themselves the Volunteer Coastguard of Somalia – and ordinary Somalis agree. The independent Somalian news site WardheerNews found 70 per cent "strongly supported the piracy as a form of national defence".