Saturday, September 27, 2008

Plastic Jesus

You wild, beautiful thing...

Saturday, September 20, 2008


So there's this news story over at Fark about this huge spider skin found at an oil refinery that's got all the workers there up in arms. Considering that the spider skin is the size of a salad plate and some spiders shed their skin when they get bigger, I'd say they have good cause for concern.

The best thing about Fark is the reader comments. They were particularly eloquent today.

valor_morghulis says:

--"That makes me want to crawl inside myself and weep."


demanton helpfully offers:

--"There's always a spider within ten feet of you. Always."

Heebies. And I'd like some extra jeebies on the side, please.

UnrepentantApostate rejoins:

--"This spider is what I consider one of the most gratuitous creatures in Nature. Twelve inches wide, that's big enough to sit on your face. On top of this, they have hairs on their legs they can shoot at you to irritate your skin, eyes, and mucous membranes.

It's not their venom that's truly worrisome, it's the giant fangs they have. Those hurt.

But what's truly over-the-top grotesque about these things is that they can force air out of their carapace to shriek at you.

Yes, that's right, it's a screaming, dinner-plate-sized, face-spanning spider. That's just gratuitous. "

Because you know, I really needed to visualize that. Thanks, man. I hate you.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

David Foster Wallace 1962-2008

I learned of David Foster Wallace's suicide a few days ago when I saw his photo under the column heading "Memorable Deaths of 2008". It was in some online magazine, I don't remember which.

"Memorable" deaths.

I read "Brief Interviews With Hideous Men" and came away apalled and giddy--and thinking that DFW was one wonderfully, brilliantly fucked up dude. His writing is manic and plodding, smart, generous and self-indulgent, funny and humane and dizzy with annotations and footnotes, zoozoos, wham whams and arcane allusions like Tourette's outbursts that totally grooved my ADD brain.

But beauty is a burden that some people just cannot bear. The gift is too much. The psyche short circuits and you go crazy or die.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

This Is the Vulcan Heart PG

Sorry, Adams. This is not “Prodigal Soul”, but I needed to write something short and quick that would get me back into the Trek universe. Who knows, I may incorporate this into “PS”. It does beg for some fleshing out.

Disclaimer: Paramount owns the characters. But all the creative content, plot and original characters belong to me.

Archiving: THFFF, ASCEML. All others ask permission, please.

Summary: Sarek falls in love.


“Thee has prided thyself on thy Vulcan heritage.”

Sarek looked up from his padd with a start. He carefully placed the padd on his desk top, using the movement to reset his expression. He stood, glancing at his assistant who hovered in the doorway, his eyes huge, practically wringing his hands.

“That will be all, Xonek,” said Sarek.

Xonek inclined his head. “Yes, Ambassador,” he said, recovering his composure somewhat but still stepping quickly away.

Sarek gazed at his mother. T’Pau never came to his office in Shir’Kahr and rarely addressed him in High Vulcan unless the matter was very, very serious.

“Greetings, T’Pau,” he said.

“Thee has prided thyself on thy Vulcan heritage,” she repeated.

Her expression was severe, her words the Vulcan equivalent of a slap across the face.

Sarek raised his chin. “I do not understand,” he said.

“This…office does not absolve thee of thy duties.”

Sarek stifled a sigh. “Mother, you do not understand that it is different with humans. Amanda and I---.”

Kroyka!” T’Pau’s eyes flashed.

Sarek blinked then bowed his head.

“Thee are my child.”

Ah, pid-kom,” he said, his voice low.

“Know thy place.”

“I ask forgiveness, T’Pau.”

T’Pau relaxed her stance but still spoke in High Vulcan. “It is not my forgiveness thee should seek, my son. He who is my grandson grows quickly and he is Vulcan. Thy wife is not.”


Sarek walked down the corridor that led to the suite of rooms he shared with his wife. A part of his mind noted the absence of the low bustle of the palace staff. The rest of his mind was occupied with the memory of his encounter with T’Pau that afternoon.

He had not been chastised so severely--and so publicly--in his adult life.

T’Pau accused him of taking advantage of his status as the heir of the House, informed him that his sense of entitlement was sorely misplaced and told him that he did not receive special dispensation because he was her son. She also reminded him that Ambassador or not, as her son, he was still subject to her command.

Then she sent his disobedient ass home to take care of his wife and child like every other Vulcan male.

“Humph”, he huffed, his face hot with embarrassment. He glanced around, realizing more fully that he had not encountered a single attendant. Frowning, he entered the small anteroom of his suite. He knew


that Amanda was napping in the sleeping chamber. There should be an attendant stationed in the anteroom. He crossed the small room quickly and looked into the next chamber. Amanda lay on her back in the middle of their large bed. He walked over and gazed down at her. The long waves of her blonde hair spread across the pillows, glowing in the low light. Her thin shift clung to her heavy breasts and the sweet, coppery scent of breast milk rose from her body. The flame that warmed his blood flared briefly. He saw for the first time the dark rings of exhaustion under her eyes and understood, finally, why the harshness of T’Pau’s reprimand. Spock was half Vulcan. He required less sleep and more feeding than human babies. Even with supplements and consuming thousands of extra calories per day, Amanda could barely keep up. Sarek had not thought to hire a wet nurse and Amanda had not asked.

Sarek’s shoulders sagged. “Oh, my beloved,” he whispered. “I should have known.” She was pale and her arms, already thin, looked spindly. His gold and porcelain Amanda. He lightly brushed a stray hair from her face. She did not move.

Sarek heard a muffled sound from the darkness beyond the bed. He looked up and saw Spock standing in his crib staring solemnly at him over the rail. His hair grew in a thick dark thatch that stood straight up from his round baby head. At 3.8 Earth months old, Spock was already pulling up and trying to toddle.

Sarek went to the crib and peered down at the baby. Spock looked up at Sarek and lost his grip on the crib rail. He plopped down and corked his thumb in his mouth, sucking thoughtfully, gazing up at his father. He took his thumb out of his mouth and waved a wet, chubby fist at Sarek.

“Ta ta ta ta,” Spock said softly.

Sarek raised a brow. “Not you, too?” The faint scent of urine bloomed in Sarek’s face. "You require changing," he said.

“Ba,” answered Spock. A dimple blinked in his left cheek.

Sarek crept past Amanda and into the anteroom. He clicked on the com and called for an attendant. To his surprise, Golan’s face appeared on the screen.

“Why are you answering for T’Aylen, Golan?” asked Sarek.

“Greetings, S'haile.” There was a minute crinkle in the corner of Golan’s eye. Was he grinning?

“Answer my question, Captain.”

“T’Pau granted the entire staff the evening off.” Golan was indeed grinning.

“She what?” exclaimed Sarek.

“T’Pau granted the--.”

“I heard you, Golan. My wife is resting and I do not wish to disturb her. The child’s diaper is wet and needs to be changed.”

Golan coughed lightly into his fist. “Well,” he said. It seems you have a problem that needs to be solved.”

Sarek glared at the screen. “I suggest some time spent studying the Disciplines this evening, Golan.”

“As you wish, S'haile,” said Golan. “And take care when you remove--.”

Sarek snapped off the com. He turned back to the sleep chamber. He could hear Spock starting to fuss. The thought to wait to see if Amanda awakened was fleeting. He sighed. “I will obey, T’Pau,” he said. But he did not move as quietly as he could have when he went to retrieve his son from the crib. He glanced at Amanda. She did not stir.

He carried the baby at arm's length into the room that used to be his dressing room. Spock blew bubbles around his fists as he tried to shove them both into his mouth.

“That is illogical,” whispered Sarek. “It is not possible to fit both hands into your mouth at the same time. Especially hands as large as yours.”

Spock removed one hand and grabbed at Sarek’s nose.

Sarek laid him on the changing table. Spock pulled his feet up to his face and began to play with his toes.

“There are five toes on each foot,” said Sarek. Spock gazed intently at him. “Permit me to illustrate.” Spock watched as Sarek counted each toe twice, gently pinching them between his fingers. “There now. Do you see?” Sarek asked.

Spock looked at his toes, looked at Sarek, opened his mouth and vomited a great gout of curdled breast milk all over the front of Sarek’s tunic. Sarek gasped loudly. Spock’s face crumpled.

“Shh. Shh,” said Sarek. He awkwardly patted Spock on the belly. “It is of no consequence.”

Spock let out an alarming belch. Sarek leapt back. This time there was no projectile breast milk.

“You seem to have emptied yourself. And all onto me. Not a single drop on you. Fascinating. Well, no matter. I shall exchange your wet diaper for a dry one once I change my tunic--. Shh, shh. I shall change you but I must remove this first. No, no. Do not fret. I am still here,” said Sarek, quickly pulling his tunic over his head. “You see? There. Just like the game you play with your mother. Peek-a-boo, is it?”

“Chug,” said Spock.

“Perhaps not. Then where does your mother keep the diapers? Ah, there. The arrangement of your current diaper appears easily duplicated. It should not prove to be a difficult exchange. Allow me to first remove the soiled one. You see--. Ahh!” A strong, hot stream of urine shot a bulls-eye to Sarek’s chin. In a panic, he pressed the clean diaper between his sons legs. Spock chortled and kicked. Sarek grabbed the nearest thing with which to wipe his face. Unfortunately, it was his ruined tunic. He succeeded in smearing a mixture of urine and partially digested milk all over his chest and neck.

“Ahh!” he said again.

He turned and took a step towards the bed chamber. He stopped and straightened, taking a deep breath. "I will not be defeated by one soiled diaper", he said. He deposited his tunic in the cycler and returned to the changing table.

Spock wrinkled his nose. “Gak,” he said. “Mumm muu num.”

“You do not smell like a Grayson Beauty, yourself. And if you wish to see your mother, that is out of the question at the moment. You must make do with your father. Now, perhaps I was too hasty in dismissing Captain Golan’s advice.” Sarek cautiously lifted the edge of the diaper between Spock’s legs. “It appears you are finished but now you require cleaning,” he said.

Sarek lifted Spock and held him at arm's length--facing away. Spock looked back at him with a frown. “Just a precaution,” explained Sarek. He sat the boy on the floor of the sonic shower. Spock looked up and smiled.

“The sonic shower is quite efficient. You will find it quite a bit more pleasant than being subjected to the wet baths on which your mother insists. Yes, that is your navel—“bellybutton”, I believe your mother calls it,” said Sarek. He answered in the affirmative the computer’s polite inquiry.

As soon as the low hum of the sonic wave generators began, Spock wailed and tugged on his ear.

“Off!” said Sarek, his heart pounding. He bent and picked up his son. “Forgive me, Spock. I did not know that the sonic generators hurt your ears.”

Spock sniffled and laid his head on Sarek’s chest. Sarek held him and stroked his back. Spock rubbed his nose on his father’s skin and put his thumb back into his mouth. One small hand lay warmly on Sarek’s hard bicep.

Without conscious thought, Sarek began to rock gently from side to side. He breathed in the odor of sour milk and urine and the dry cinnamon scent from the top of his son’s head.

And beneath his palm, under the soft skin, the thin baby ribs, he felt the rapid beat of his son’s heart. He


a flame, a ferocious protectiveness.

It burned in his blood with an intensity that was both different and deeper than the plak tow; but if Amanda saw the dark and feral expression on his face, she would not recognize her husband. His chest swelled, every muscle filled with blood and his heart slowed in time with the beat of the ancient drums of Vulcan battle. Sarek bared his teeth. His hands tightened on his son’s small body. Spock did not complain. He relaxed against his father’s chest.

Sarek blinked and the green veil that covered his vision slowly cleared. He shifted Spock in his arms and looked down into his face. This is the Vulcan heart, he thought. He pressed his lips to Spock’s forehead.

“With my life, my son,” he whispered.


Amanda awakened, feeling well-rested for the first time in months. She blinked in the dark then sat up quickly. Spock was not in his crib. She heard a splash come from the bath. She scrambled off the bed and dashed across the room. A low, warm sound stopped her in her tracks.

It was Sarek, laughing.

Amanda tiptoed to the doorway of the bath and peered in. Sarek and Spock sat facing each other in the tub. Mountains of foam rose around them; the previously half-full bottle of her favorite bubble bath stood empty. She could feel the heat of the water from the door but apparently Spock didn’t mind. He splashed his hands in the water out of time to the tune of the song his father softly sang.

“Now you,” said Sarek.

“La la lo la,” sang Spock.

“Very good,” said Sarek. “Spock-kam, I believe you will have a lovely singing voice.”

“Ahh thuup,” said Spock, throwing his arms above his head.

“Thank you,” chuckled Sarek.

Amanda crept away. She lay back on the bed. She recalled T’Pau’s sharp-eyed assessment of her and Spock when she visited the palace unannounced just that morning.

“Thank you, T’Pau,” she said.



Wednesday, September 03, 2008


When are they ever going to learn that like a gun, a microphone that looks off, might still be loaded?

Dumbasses. But thanks for that...

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


Frak! Frak! Frak! Frak! Frak!