Skip to content

Category: Other Writing

FICTION: “Lifting The Veil” (Apocalyptic Erotica)

Posted in Burning Man, Fiction, Polyamory, and Sex & Relationships

The smoke that flooded his mouth and spilled down his throat tasted the way a high school chemistry lab smells. Next to him, he felt Glory’s warmth and the nearness of her hand outstretched to catch the long glass pipe when it dropped out of his hand. Misha was suddenly afraid: You’re one of the first dozen people to take XDMT, what if …?

He opened his eyes. The bedroom wiggled around him as if badly rendered, the edges of every object shivering with colors that did not belong. He glanced at her. Waves of blue energy rippled from her skin as if trying to escape. She smiled and he lit the torch again, inhaled, and closed his eyes.

Misha fell through a dozen layers of color. He didn’t think his heart was beating anymore. He was sure he wasn’t breathing. But he fell calmly, stunned by the rippling tessellation of oranges and reds. He fell through the last layer and into a dim tunnel. Underground? He had no sense of his body at all, just motion, traveling through passageways that were more the suggestion of a place–slick metal, dank stone, something like a subway tunnel–than the actual experience of it.

He realized he could hear chattering, like hundreds of high-pitched voices speaking too quickly to understand. Misha traveled. He came to rest in a large open chamber. Other entities were around him, speaking in their alien squeals. He felt as if they all turned as one being to look upon him and then the wall opened up and he was sucked into space.

Misha floated. How long? He wondered. Minutes? Hours? How long since I left? That wasn’t exactly right, he knew. He hadn’t left at all, somehow. Then: I’m not alone.…

Tuesday Ephemera: Chipmunk Revolution

Posted in Media, MintPress News, and Other Writing

Tonight’s music video is “Rescue, Mister” by TR/ST. This video was selected by Ósk Bät as part of Ósk’s “Daily Earworms” on the social network ello.

I’m on ello too, as @kitoconnell (just like on Twitter and Instagram). I’m finding the new social network a pleasant place to share photos and text without the issues of Facebook’s bothersome algorithm hiding my content.

Scientists believe that fossil remains of Megasphaera may represent one of the earliest animals to live on earth. From Live Science:

A new study finds that these controversial fossils are not likely to be bacteria or single-celled protists; their cells, preserved for more than 600 million years in rock, are too complex and differentiated. Instead, the fossils may be multicellular algae, or even the embryosof ancient animals. “The real value of these fossils is that we now have some direct evidence about how this transition from single-celled organisms to things like animals and plants occurred in the evolutionary past,” said study researcher Shuhai Xiao, a geobiologist at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.

[…] The bizarre fossils, known as Megasphaera, come from a rock layer in southern China called the Doushantuo Formation. Xiao first studiedMegasphaera specimens in 1998 and suspected that they might beanimal embryos. Each fossil measures a mere 0.03 inches (0.7 millimeters) or so across and comes from what would have been a shallow marine environment at the time. But no adult animals that might have produced these embryos have ever been found, leaving the identity of the fossils open to scrutiny.

[…] By slicing the rocks ultrathin, the researchers were able to shine light through the fossils to see the structures inside, just like stained glass. Using microscopy, they observed multiple cells, cleaved together in spherical clusters. The cells were different from one another in shape and size, suggesting they have developed different tissue types — a process known as cell differentiation — and presumably have different cellular functions, Xiao said.

A chipmunk, closeup shot of its upper half as it sits
“Revolution! Today we rodents rise!”

New On Mint Press News: I filed a report with MyMPN about a recent direct action by Utah Tar Sands Resistance activists dressed as chipmunks.

Activists dressed as chipmunks shut down construction at the first US tar sands mine on September 23. It was the latest in a series of actions by Utah Tar Sands Resistance targeting the 213 acre Book Cliffs tar sands mine.

A video released by the group shows chipmunks spreading rapidly through through the camp site where they block construction equipment with their bodies. Activists shut down construction for part of a day, resulting in five arrests. There have been 27 total arrests since the beginning of the campaign to halt construction.

“This project is a bellweather project,” said Raphael Cordray, an organizer with Utah Tar Sands Resistance. “If they can make this project successful than it will open up the flood gates for a whole lot of other tar sands and oil shale strip mining projects in the area and in America in general. The United States Bureau of Land Management identified 860,000 acres within Utah, Wyoming and Colorado that’s available in the future.”

Read Chipmunks Shut Down Utah Tar Sands.

And …

In the comments, tell me what you’re reading or what’s on your mind.

My First Tattoo: A Semicolon

Posted in Austin, Life, Other Writing, and Polyamory

A semicolon tattoo on Kit's bicep. A yellow shirt can also be seen.
; is the pause that refreshes.

Today I got my first tattoo.

Why did I select a semicolon for my first tattoo? They’ve always been my favorite punctuation, ever since an English teacher showed me how to use them properly. It felt like esoteric knowledge. It felt like being let into a secret club of writers and I’ve never really stopped writing.

My writer friend Steven Brust also has a semi-colon tattoo, and after all we shared together it felt fitting to have matching body art. I look forward to getting a photo of both our semicolons next time he visits Austin.

Kit in a yellow shirt sitting in a chair while James works on his arm with the tattoo machine.
James Hill, of Shaman Modifications, modifying Kit.

Symbolically, I also like the what the semicolon represents — bringing two sentences together or joining disparate ideas. It might be the least used and most misunderstood of the common punctuation marks too, and I also like that. The same teacher who told me about how to use them also quipped that people are so afraid of the semicolon that you could use one to fend off muggers.

Since deciding that this would be my first tattoo, I also learned about The Semicolon Project. Though I’ve never been suicidal, I’ve dealt with debilitating depression and helped loved ones and family through their own suicide attempts. It’s not why I got this tattoo, but I am happy to display the project’s symbol.

And as if that weren’t enough, it turns out that today is coincidentally National Punctuation Day. I’d link you to the official homepage for the day, but people apparently love punctuation too much and it’s crashed.

Thanks James Hall at Shaman Modifications so easy, relatively painless and beautiful!

Cartoon Friday: Count Duckula

Posted in Firedoglake, Life, Media, and Other Writing

I may not be working for Firedoglake anymore but … It’s STILL Cartoon Friday!

During my two years at Firedoglake I turned the Watercooler — MyFDL’s end of the night wrap up post — into something I looked forward to assembling every night. Partway through that process, I realized I could do almost anything I wanted with the feature. And between that and my love of cartoons, Cartoon Friday was born.

Now that I won’t be blogging at FDL as much anymore it seems only fitting to bring this “tradition” to my blog, Approximately 8,000 Words.

If you’re new or want to review past installments, here’s a retrospective of Cartoon Friday 2013 and a bunch of more recent installments.

Tonight’s selection is the Count Duckula episode, “There are Werewolves at the Bottom of our Garden.” It originally aired in November of 1990.

Duckula is a British cartoon which spun off from another popular series that also saw syndication in the United States, Danger Mouse. In the original series, Duckula was a fearsome villain — at least relatively speaking when you remember the main characters of the original series were a mouse and a mole.

For his feature series, he was reimagined as something far less fierce.

A vampire rubber duck.
OK, a bit more fierce than that.

Perhaps because Danger Mouse dispatched Duckula in the original, Duckula finds himself revived through an ancient and mystic rite — only Nanny, a clumsy hen and one of the vampire duck’s closest allies, substitutes ketchup for blood. Now the mighty warrior is much closer to an Inspector Gadget-like figure: he becomes a hapless vegetarian that survives primarily through the aid of his friends and servants like the tireless but cynical butler, Igor.

So curl up with a favorite libation and get ready to get silly — from the very first moments. Oh, they don’t make theme songs like that anymore.

Thank God.

Seen any good cartoons lately?

Subscribe to Gonzo Notes

Get Kit′s thoughts on current events, and links to all his latest writing, delivered 2-4 times per month to your inbox.

FreshMail.com