The Casebook Of Dr. McGillicuddy, Scientist-Explorer and Moral Hygienist

When I saw these lovely antique weapons capable of unspeakable destruction, almost immediately the urge to scribble some words down was irresistible.

How The Good Doctor Tamed The Unruly Heavens

"Bloody hell."
Dr. McGillicuddy watched the skies as the clouds blackened and boiled above the city. He took a sip from an iron flask and tucked it inside his coat pocket. Autumn's fleeting breaths vanished as winter tumbled into the city, covering the streets with a thin coat of frost and brittle leaves. The doctor stood on a street corner. The gaslights along the empty street rattled from the groans emanating from beyond the clouds. Thick sooty flakes gently fell to the ground, peppering the doctor's snowy hair.
"I should have moved to the colonies," he said to himself, "but I despise dysentery. If a man must die, then he should be atomized or consumed by a mammal three times his size. Anything else is a dreadful waste of time."
A young man in a white lab coat smeared with grease ran up behind the doctor. He carried a small bundle wrapped in burlap.
Dr. McGillicuddy heard the footsteps behind him. He remembered the War, and the screams and the three-headed birds clutching pieces of men in their pointed beaks.
"Did you bring the phallus?"
The young man looked at the burlap in his hands.
"Excuse me, doctor?"
"Pardon me, Collins. I was elsewhere. What's that you have there?"
"The, um, device, doctor."
"Ah, yes. Was it where I told you?"
"Not exactly, doctor."
"Come now, Collins. We are both men here. Enough with the formalities. If must address me, 'sir' would be adequate. My last man referred to me as 'Grand Oscillator.' Charming fellow. He went mad shortly after an expedition to Greenland."
"That's a right lovely story, sir, but the sky - "
"Was it in the depository?"
"No, sir. I found it in the pantry. Under the lard."
"Indeed. Would you like me to calibrate it, sir? If I'm not mistaken, the sky will worsen and cause unfortunate side-effects."
"Calibration is for wet nurses."
Dr. McGillicuddy's eyes returned to the sky, which grew darker as an undulating howl erupted from above.
"I wasn't aware exposing those runes to galvanized hard water would have such dramatic results," said the good doctor.
"Those runes we found in that beast's belly?"
"They have names, you know."
"I refuse to think of them as Abominable Snowmen. We were mistaken. Hodgson caught sight of an orang-utan while sipping melted yak butter in Nepal. Nothing more."
Dr. McGillicuddy sighed. He held out his hand. Collins rolled his eyes and slapped the bundle into the doctor's palm.
"I sought after a weapon that could sour a woman's virtue," said Dr. McGillicuddy, "instead, I built a Disrupting Wave Emitter. Alas, I remain unlucky in love."
The doctor removed the burlap. The Emitter was heavy in his hands. The chrome device was sleek and egg-shaped, ending in a point. A vial, half-filled with blue viscous fluid, jutted out of the back.
"Do you know where to aim, sir?"
"Up, presumably."
"Very good, sir."
Pointing the weapon at the billowing clouds, Dr. McGillicuddy squinted one eye and pulled the trigger. A blue light fired out of the pointed apparatus and pierced the atmosphere. A horrible roar echoed across the city.
Suddenly, a bobby appeared from around the corner and stood before the two men. He twirled his club around a pudgy finger.
"Wot's this then, lads?"
"Good afternoon, officer."
"Fancy lights there. Mind giving an explanation as to why you're shooting the heaven above our Queen's Royal Head?"
"Of course. But, if you may, could you stand one metre behind you?"
"Certainly. Now - "
A grey-green tentacle bolted from out of the clouds. Its surface was dripping with thick, translucent mucus that reeked of oil and dead flowers. The appendage coiled around the bobby and hauled the hapless constable up into the sky. His round figure quickly disappeared.
The roaring ceased. A minute passed and the clouds dispersed, revealing a deep blue sky.
"Well," said Collins.
The doctor patted the Emitter. "I needed to get its attention. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm in desperate need of another pair of trousers."
Collins glanced at the doctor's damp anterior and then checked his pocket watch.
"Right on schedule, sir. Like clockwork, really."
The doctor jammed the Emitter into his trousers and strutted off. Collins followed. An elderly woman wearing a matted, greasy shawl approached Dr. McGillicuddy and held out her hands, asking for a penny. The good doctor smiled and promptly shoved the woman into the street.

Copyright, The Stars Have Eyes. Steal it and die.


Thank you, Gmail.

"Counsel woven into the fabric of real life is wisdom."

Walter Benjamin


Public Service Announcement

Friends, I won't be on MSN for awhile. My brain needs a serious break. Email is fine.


Testing: The Dark Does Matter.

I heard the news yesterday! Scientists at NASA found compelling evidence proving that dark matter exists. BoingBoing did a fine job covering the news release. The post has plenty of links.

I'm experimenting with a Firefox extension that allows you to write entries from a window in your browser, without having to log in directly to Blogger. This is an excellent idea, but I can't get the thing to work at the moment.

I've already signed up for email posting. Now, if I only I could send posts via cell phone or a smaller (read: portable) word processor with a wireless connection. My goal is to send posts directly from the site or event. Liveblogging! This is nothing new, but the idea gets me excited. Maybe record audio samples or even some video and upload them.


Help me intrawubbs, you're my only hope.

So here is my dilemma.

Recently, I mentioned that I was prescribed Zoloft. I haven't filled the prescription yet. Initially, I wasn't concerned about taking short-term medication. Now I have a problem.

Jess offered to help me pursue alternative methods that deal with anxiety. Attending restorative yoga classes, drinking herbal teas to counter anxious emotions and visiting an Ayurvedic doctor are just some of options I have at the moment. I'm going to explore them all.

I only had small "eruptions" since Friday. Once when I was waiting in the line to board the ferry (the crowd was suffocating me; every time someone brushed against me my throat would tighten), and really, just little moments scattered across the day. The headache is all but gone.

The crux is that I still get the occasional attack, and counseling takes an extraordinary amount of time. I'm patient, yes, but I need to live a relatively normal life, too.

What should I do, intrawubbs? Fill the prescription and fight back the anxiety until I get a handle on my messed-up, confused feelings or trudge ahead without the pills?

Now I really want to exercise that "for friends only" option for Blogger. I've written erotica and horror in the past (but not erotic horror, heavens no - my first name isn't Alabaster) and I really want to return to those genres in the future. I want to share my work with my internet friends but not all my internet friends.

Quickly, now.

I'm now on the screaming roller-coaster ride towards deadline. I've been banging out what I can today, although I had a slow start. Yesterday we got in late from visiting my parents over the weekend. We just had a casual weekend with them. We ate (quite a lot, we tend to do that together) and wandered around downtown, then had a barbecue in the sunshine under a pine tree. Victoria does have some beautiful spots, like sitting outside Murchie's to watch people or browsing through Munro's, which Lisa calls "our chapel." I agree, I have to go inside that shop everytime I visit.


You again?

Glenn Gould
comes back [returns] to life


[and?] buys a grape soda
from a corner store[.]


[Rain falls.]


[He stands under] a green aluminum
awning, over the door [counting the taps.]

Then [he calls up]
the radio station
(CBC I think)
from a phone booth[.]


Bells [ring in the grey]
air as he sips soda bending [s] the pull-top back
and forth.

And so:

Glenn Gould returns to life,

and buys a grape soda
from a corner store.

Rain falls.

He stands under a green aluminum
awning, counting the taps.

Then he calls up
the radio station
(CBC I think)
from a phone booth.

Bells ring in the grey
air as he bends the pull-top back
and forth.

There are at least six poems in the works, but this particular one has been fun to share. The process is just as rewarding as the finished product, and this piece, although not altogether a successful one, occassionally revisits me to ask for revisions. Like a stray cat who returns to your front porch, this poem will not go away, even if I chase it with a broom.

I want to return to Friday Poetry Blogging, and perhaps an "open mike," where people can contribute poems and post them in the comments or wherever.

The greatest library in the world. Thanks, Chris.

Blogger is updating? A beta version? The entire system is being streamlined with user-friendly features and new templates and everything? That is great news. I suppose the only issue is that users not already switched to the beta version won't be able to login when they comment. That sucks. Hopefully that particular bug will be fixed. Once the beta is cleaned up I reckon I will make the switch.

So, since I've been feeling better these days I can actually step outside and visit friends. Last night I had a low-key evening with Chris, chatting about comics and editing and eventually making our way to the library near his house. This library has to be one of the best branches in the city. Not only do they have an amazing DVD collection, the shelves are loaded with graphic novels and trade paperbacks. Oh, and a slim selection of bande dessinee. I picked up Marvels, 1602, The Authority Volume 2: Under New Management, Planetary Volume 1: All Over The World And Other Stories, Blankets, Paul Moves Out and The Originals. I'm totally looking forward to watching Seven Samurai and reading comics tonight.

Why doesn't Blogger accept HTML tags for accents?



Hey there.

I won't bother you all with my medical worries, but I do have some good news: my headaches and dizziness are not related to my head wound. People experience signs of brain injury from twenty-four hours to a week, and I haven't felt the other signs related to neurological damage. After taking a blood test, the doctor felt that my B12 and iron levels were a little low. So, she put me on a multivitamin and I'm to reduce my caffeine and nicotine intake. I feel a little better, but I'm still working towards a full "recovery."

She also prescribed Zoloft. I don't mind taking psychoactive drugs for a short period while I'm in counseling. Unraveling whatever tangled roots lie at the foundation of my anxiety is a long process, and I'm exhausted from being plagued by paralyzing fear, chest pains and depression. If the Zoloft can provide even a modicum of relief while I'm tackling "deeper" issues, than so be it. The medication is expensive (I'm only being prescribed 25 mg rather than 100 mg, so that might reduce the cost, yes?) but I think I have some kind of coverage that will alleviate the financial burden.

I still love the writing, though. Just give me some aspirin, a full water bottle and a cup of coffee, then put me in a darkened room with a laptop, notebooks, reading material and enough pens and pencils to build an outhouse. I would be incredibly happy, scribbling and dreaming until the world needs me again.

Lately, I've been interested in reading blogs by patients in counseling or psychiatric care. Blogs written by pyschologists or psychiatrists would be interesting too. Last semester I entered a discourse on psychology and literature, and how it relates to social forces coercing (or resisted by) agents. I've posted this essay before, related to this topic, and now here it is again.

Since I haven't been getting that many comments, I've decided to keep the option for leaving snide remarks and incoherant rants open for a short time. If no one comments, then the option will be buried. Thanks.


I actually swear in this one.

Last weekend definitely left its mark on me.

After getting off work early on Friday, I went home so I could look presentable for the public. The suit I bought for Chris' wedding was the best investment I've (grudgingly) ever made. Not only was it tailored to withstand at least another five years of sweeping fashion trends, I actually look rather dashing. Trust me, writing that last bit was harder than you think.

Whenever I'm wearing the suit I do feel like a different person, like I should be conducting Important Business or Shaking Hands or Listening Carefully.

The ceremony was outdoors, with two rows of seats facing a large tree. The makeshift aisle was sprinkled with red and white flower petals, which was really well done. I'll say this about keeping the ceremony short: if you plan on getting married in the future, do yourselves and your loved ones a favour and make sure everyone's not seated for more than fifteen minutes. Thank you.

The reception was very luxurious. A . . . four-course meal? I really don't remember. However, there was champagne with the dinner and an open bar that virtually poured a stream of wine down my parched gullet. In the drunken, hazy blur I could make out the richly decorated environs: the place was draped in thick, white apolostery, curtains and table decor, all under a massive tent under the stars. The entire scene was softly lit, lending the space a delicate texture. I had a chance to meet a fine couple who I've supposedly met years ago and, with much regret and confusion and acute chest pain, apparently forgotten over time. In short, they were charming and cured my hiccups. Later we ended up at one of the bridesmaid's condo . . . and, well, the evening kind of vanishes into an inky cloud at that point.

The groom is from France and has a passion for football. So, on Saturday I met the party for a match. The teams included people from England, France and one from Italy. I could feel the cigarettes, booze and rich food kicking and groaning as I chased after the ball in the afternoon sun. Yes, we lost. That tends to happen when you go up against Europeans who've been playing since they were four years old. I had such a great time playing though, that losing really didn't matter.

Later we saw the final fireworks show we have here in Vancouver. Please, don't ask me anything about the damn thing. I have no clue what this noise is all about. From what I can gather, thousands of drunken suburbanites overtake the streets to shout obsenities at the "fags" and watch lights in the sky. We attended a party at the top of a high-rise apartment overlooking the waterfront, where the boats launch the fireworks. The view was lovely, but the noise and the height made me anxious and exhausted, so I had to retreat to the ground floor to straighten out my nerves.

Later, as Lisa and I walked down Davie Street, in what Lisa called "a rushing stream of people," some jerks started screaming "what the fuck is that?" when a transgendered woman walked past them. We were so livid. I could only give the woman an uncomfortable look as we met eyes. She just continued walking, ignoring the insults.

Yes, I understand that identifying the "other" builds group solidarity. Yes, I know your view of gender is binary, and anyone transgressing that binary is an affront to your ideological standpoint. Yes, I realize that your idea of masculinity is strictly defined. You're still assholes.

Huh. Nice way to end a blog entry on attending someone's wedding. Oh well. Congratulations, Tala and Mathieu. I had a wonderful time.


Manifesto, revised. Thanks L.

As agents participating in a civil society, our first and foremost responsibility when faced with a person or persons who claim an authoritative position of any kind, is to react with immediate suspicion and eventual critique of their claim, the validity of their position and the consequence of having such authority.

A mediocre start to a mediocre day.

Well, at least the headaches are getting better. I made an appointment to see my doctor next week. After work I'm getting a haircut, and I'm surprisingly excited. Not only is the hairdresser cute, but she does an amazing job. I actually have good hair after she's done.

The third piece in the previous post sounds really dodgy. I'm not happy how it turned out. I think it's a good memory, something to write about, but the phrasing gets confused and clumsy when I try to write it in order.

I applied for the copy editor position at the student paper! I totally forgot to mention this earlier. I'll actually get paid, the work is part-time, and the gig will give me a touch more experience.

I found an advertisement for beginner's rugby yesterday. There's a class coming up and the game supports all levels, so I might go check it out. I played rugby once, in junior high school. I remember enjoying the running and tackling, and working together with other players to crush our opponents. Ha, no, I'm kidding. Competition was never a big motivator for me.

My favourite colour? Black.


Some observations.

A young couple eats pizza, while sitting on plastic chairs outside the shop. They are wearing t-shirts with faded logos blazoned across their chests. A panhandler sits next to them, on the sidewalk. He's eating a slice a pizza from the same shop. He says something. The couple laughs.

I make toast at one in the morning. The toaster sits next to the dish rack. I notice a brief flutter in the corner of my eye. I scan the counter, and a large insect bounces onto a plate drying in the rack. Its triangular body is a vivid green, ending at a point. Soundlessly, it leaps from plate to plate, briefly stopping to feel the air with its antennae. One final jump, and it vanishes.

Lately, I've been wearing Old Spice deodorant. I smell like my father, when he wore aftershave of the same name when I was a boy. Whenever he shaved, I would watch him in the mirror. He placed a dab of shaving cream into my hand and I smeared it across my face. Taking a small comb, I scraped off the soapy foam, imitating his movements. Our bathroom was filled with a sweet, heavy scent, like flowers in the rain.

Lying in bed, I heard a rattle rattle rattle from the bathroom, sounding like a car rolling over large stones. I walked into the room. The cat was pawing at the shower door, wanting to drink from the faucet.