Halloween Week – Slave Cemeteries

I was born in Dallas and have lived in Texas all my life.  When I was a little girl, I can remember seeing “colored” entrances, restrooms and drinking fountains in older downtown buildings.  Jim Crow was dead, in legalities at least, so no black person was forced into using these lesser amenities, but they had not been removed yet.  In some places in older parts of Dallas, such reminders of the nastier parts of racial history in the USA weren’t remodeled or removed until the 1980s.

I tell you all of this because while I was and still am aware that race relations in the USA are difficult, it was still…  shocking when I began cemetery investigation and saw that segregation was enforced even in death.  The slave and “colored” sections of “white” cemeteries were seldom maintained well, which is not particularly surprising.  But I discovered that large chunks of history were lost in those slave and black sections of cemeteries, making even some of the simplest genealogy or historical research maddening, if not completely impossible.

And there’s no way around this expression of sentimentality – often slave and Jim Crow cemeteries are sad places indeed.

The first slave cemetery I found was in Round Rock Cemetery in Round Rock, Texas.  I was there looking for the graves for some Old West villains and lawmen, and was startled when I saw it.

Slave Cemetery
Note that you can’t actually see any headstones beyond that sign.  Read the rest of this entry »

Published in: Funerary Customs, Halloween Week | on October 30th, 2014 | No Comments »

Halloween Week – My Favorite Cemetery

One day Mr. Oddbooks came home and told me about a cemetery near Jarrell, Texas that was evidently very interesting.  It was located in a ghost town called Corn Hill.  Old Corn Hill Cemetery boasts the graves of people of historical importance in Texas, so I wanted to check it out.  Cemetery, ghost town, historical importance – what’s not to like?  The problem was that the directions were so bad that I really think that had we closed our eyes and tried to get there by our sense of smell, we wouldn’t have ended up as lost as we became.

It took us a couple of weekends to find Old Corn Hill Cemetery, but during the hunt we found a couple of very interesting mini-cemeteries, a derelict house where we totally trespassed and took pictures (I later learned that house is the James Shaver home, called the Old Stage Stop and Hotel), and all sorts of interesting fauna, mostly longhorn cattle.  But we also found the Holy Trinity Catholic Cemetery, which has become the cemetery to beat for me in terms of symbology, statuary and emotional attachment.

Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Jarrell, Texas, is an imposing building, very gothic without any accompanying morbidity, which seems strange to say given that the cemetery is essentially in the church’s backyard.  Corn Hill, Texas was established in 1848 and began to die a slow death in 1910 when railroad lines bypassed Corn Hill in favor of neighboring Jarrell.  The Holy Trinity Catholic Church was built in 1914, and, as I’ve mentioned before, in such a young state as Texas a hundred year old church has serious history behind it.  Corn Hill itself was not founded by Germans and Slavs, but their influence is felt heavily in this area.  People who aren’t familiar with Central Texas and the Hill Country are often surprised to know that huge swaths of this area are to this day very German and Slavic, especially Czech Moravian.  For decades many Moravian families spoke a Moravian Czech dialect, as well as English, being bi-lingual in the way that we tend to associate with Mexican and Central American settlers to this area.  Sadly, this dialect with pidgin elements is dying off though you still see lots of signs and bumper stickers boasting the phrase, “Jak se mas?” which translates as “How are you doing?”  In short, Czech for “Howdy!”

Holy Trinity Catholic Church is heavily Czech and the cemetery reflects it.  I loved this cemetery not just because it was exotic to my austere Southern Baptist upbringing, but also because it was, quite literally, an education investigating the stones.  Eventually my friend Barbora K., a resident in Slovakia, had to help me translate much of what is written on the stones.  This cemetery was the gateway to me learning about the German, Moravian and Bohemian influences in Central Texas.  It also taught me a lot about how cemeteries are arranged in Eastern Europe.  Others feel strongly about this cemetery as well – I get at least one message a month from someone who finds my photos and wants to share their experiences with the church or ask if they can use some of my pictures.

And I know this isn’t particularly spooky or Halloween-y, but cemeteries in the bright Texas sun simply cannot be creepy unless you’re out in the middle of nowhere near dusk.  But there is still a somber, gloomy mood to this cemetery, especially when you get to the “babyland” section. The cemetery is a strange mix of dereliction and utter devotion because while many graves and statues have not held up in the Texas heat, every grave has been tended to by church members, even the ones where the stone is missing and all that is left are little metal markers so weathered the names were unreadable. The cemetery is grim yet comforting.

Angry Angel
I am not a particularly good photographer but this angry angel is one of my favorite pictures I’ve taken. You can see the church spires peeking behind the trees.  Read the rest of this entry »

Published in: Halloween Week, Nothing to do with odd books | on October 29th, 2014 | 1 Comment »

Halloween Week – Baby Head Cemetery

In the summer of 2012, Mr. Oddbooks and I drove out to Baby Head, Texas.  A real place.  I swear.
Baby Head Cemetery

It’s a ghost town now, more or less incorporated into Llano, Texas, and Llano was a weird place in its own right.  We drove around forever trying to find the remaining Baby Head post office and never found it.  But we did find plenty of Apostolic churches, Cowboy Congregations, exotic animals being raised so weekend warriors can obliterate them with assault weapons on canned hunts, and several hidden little cemeteries that I really want to go back and investigate, as long as I can remember to wear steel-toed boots to repel all the grass burrs and fire ants.

Back to Baby Head.  The town got its name because “oral tradition” says that some time between 1850-1875, a local Indian tribe kidnapped a white child, killed it, and left it on a mountain that came to be called Babyhead Mountain.  (The town’s name and the cemetery’s name are Baby Head, while the mountain is Babyhead.  Don’t ask me why.  But even that isn’t carved in stone as you will find the town, the cemetery and the mountain all referred to as “Babyhead” or “Baby Head” with no real explanation for the variations.)
Historical marker

It’s hard to know if there is any truth to this legend.  The tribe of the Indians who supposedly killed the baby is unknown, though if hard-pressed I would say it had to be Comanches, a pretty harsh tribe to be sure.  The name of the baby is also officially unknown, but it is assumed to have been a little girl.  I personally suspect the baby’s designated gender is because the oldest grave in the Baby Head Cemetery belongs to a little girl who died on New Year’s Day in 1884, though one local historian insisted her late husband knew people who searched for the child.  The woman’s husband said the little girl was murdered in 1873, and that her name was Mary Elizabeth Buster.  I have never been able to run to ground a Mary Elizabeth or a Mary Elizabeth Buster from Baby Head in 1873, but I also have a notoriously short attention span.  This article by Dale Fry best illustrates all the stories about this Texas legend.

I had read several accounts of how creepy Baby Head Cemetery is.  It wasn’t creepy.  It was interesting, and sort of macabre in a very sunny way, but mostly it was painful.  Read the rest of this entry »

Published in: Halloween Week, Nothing to do with odd books | on October 28th, 2014 | 4 Comments »

Halloween Week – Dead Man’s Hole

Up US 281 in Marble Falls, TX, there is a site called Dead Man’s Hole. Dead Man’s Hole is a natural limestone cave many ghost hunters insist is very haunted.

It’s hard to rattle me and I self-identify as a skeptic.  But even as I maintain that I am a skeptic, I have had strange experiences that I cannot fully explain.  Some of those experiences involve what I call wrong places.  A wrong place, simply enough, is a place wherein you feel something is not right.  It’s a place where you feel uneasy and you don’t know why. If you probe your feelings long enough, you may find an answer that explains your uneasiness. The human mind perceives more than we process on a conscious level and sometimes our subconscious filters just enough to give us valid information that we may attribute to unseen sources, like the paranormal.  I tend to think that was at play during my visit at Dead Man’s Hole, but, regardless the reason, Dead Man’s Hole is a wrong place.  It is a place where so much human misery played out that even without any sort of paranormal interpretation many may feel uneasy here.  The last time I was there I became so unnerved I likely will never return. I hope that despite the fact I was there during the brightness of the summer that the creepy nature of the place will show up in the pics.

The historical marker
According to the Historical Marker on the site, an entomologist called Ferdinand Lueders discovered the hole, presumably in the course of searching out insects, but it was not until the Civil War that the cave gained it’s ghostly and ghastly reputation. The cave is quite deep, probably around 155 feet down, and is now capped to prevent accidents and, one suspects, potential vandalism. Read the rest of this entry »

Published in: Creepy Places, Halloween Week | on October 27th, 2014 | No Comments »

Halloween Week!

I Read Odd Books is going to change next year. Hopefully, if Mr. Oddbooks has the time to dink around with the site, I Read Odd Books will become Odd Things Considered. I’ve been in a state of extreme torpor over the last 18 months and it’s been hard to shake, but I am shaking it as of late and find myself wanting to write about more than just the odd and strange books I read. I’d like to speak of music, film, and strange travels and experiences and not have it feel contrived as I cram it all into a site devoted, ostensibly, to books.

I also will incorporate the small amount of content from Houdini’s Revenge into this site. I intend to discuss strange ideas here, as well, but mostly I want to make sure all my analysis about the Boston Bombing stays online because I don’t know what I’d do without all the pointless abuse those entries have earned me.

There was a time when I used to explore all the weirdness around me, and I want to get back into doing that. Driving to ghost towns, retracing the steps of serial killers, visiting places of strange historical significance. I would really like to start doing all of that again, and I hope creating Odd Things Considered will spur me on.

In that spirit, during the days running up to Halloween I want to share some of the creepy and interesting things I’ve documented over the last few years.  Some of it I may have spoken of here before, and, if I have, I beg your forbearance. Readers who followed me here from other venues may also remember some of this content. But while I don’t like repeating myself too often, it would also be nice for me to have all of it here, in one place, as this is the only real blog I maintain these days.

So with all of that out of the way, I hope my experiment auditioning the concept of Odd Things Considered plays out well this week, and I also hope I manage to share some content that interests my readers. Stay tuned, first Halloween 2014 entry is coming up.

Published in: Creepy Places, Halloween Week | on October 27th, 2014 | 2 Comments »

Tampa by Alissa Nutting

Book: Tampa

Author: Alissa Nutting

Type of Book: Fiction, Ripped from the Headlines, hebephilia

Why Do I Consider This Book Odd: Well, because I had to create the category “hebephilia” just for this book…

Availability: Published by Harper Collins in 2013, you can get a copy here:

Comments: My friend Jessica and I have very similar reading tastes in fiction so when I saw her mention on Facebook that she was left uneasy by this book, I knew I needed a copy. Jessica is not one to be nonplussed, so I was intrigued. I have to say her reaction was on the mark.

Before I begin discussing this book in earnest, here is a brief synopsis: Celeste Price, who is definitely a stand-in for the real life hebephile Debra Lafave, is sexually attracted only to fourteen-year-old boys, preferably before they start puberty. This is especially problematic because she is married to an older man and has just begun a job teaching 8th grade English. Celeste is in her early 20s, quite attractive, and a complete sociopath, wearing her mask of sanity and passing muster with other adults but engaging in risky behaviors, like very public masturbation. Preying on the children in her classrooms, she soon has an adolescent boy in her grasp. I don’t think it is a spoiler to reveal that Celeste eventually is hoist by her own petard (or rather busted out because her lusts make her sloppy) and comes to a very bad end because that should pretty much go without saying. In a sense, it doesn’t matter how this book ends because the reason to read this book is to get a good look at the inner workings of a sociopath.

I feel very much like this book hits a discordant note, but it also occurs to me that I feel this way because Nutting got Celeste absolutely right. She nailed Celeste. And that is why the book was fascinating, forcing me to read it in two sittings, and left me feeling empty and disturbed. Read the rest of this entry »

Published in: fiction, Hebephilia, Ripped from the Headlines | on October 24th, 2014 | 2 Comments »

The Necrophiliac by Gabrielle Wittkop

Book: The Necrophiliac

Author: Gabrielle Wittkop

Type of Book: Fiction, necrophilia

Why Do I Consider This Book Odd: Self-explanatory, I think.

Availability: Published by ECW Press in 2011, you can get a copy here:

Comments:   Finally!  A new book to satisfy the imaginations of all the people who land on my site via Google searches for “necrophilia!”  Not being flippant because there are a surprising number of you.  I was directed to this book by a commenter to this site, “Bad Tara.”  Tara is not a big fan of Peter Sotos and recommended this book as an example of the literature she believes to be truly sexually transgressive. (When I look back on what I’ve read these last few months, I realize that for me this was the Summer of Sexual Deviance.  It was not intentional, but my reviews are going to be a bit perverse for a bit.  Just a heads up.)

I have to admit that I was completely surprised by this book.  When I was a young woman I had a definite affinity for the gothic, especially the gothic obsession with death and decay.  Poe and Baudelaire were favorites for me, as were Flannery O’Connor and Shirley Jackson.  I read plenty of splatter, too, just foulness for the sake of foulness, but it was not until I read the book Exquisite Corpse by Poppy Z. Brite that I experienced a true marriage of splatter with a love of the Word. (Poppy Z. Brite now lives as a transgendered man, Billy Martin, so while I will call him “Brite” as I discuss his earlier work, I also will use male pronouns.)

Brite created a Southern Gothic splatter that pushed boundaries so far that it took me a long time to understand what I thought of the book.  He borrowed from serial killer culture and used the creepiness in New Orleans to excellent advantage, but the most important element of this book to me was that, aside from a far too early brush with Hubert Selby, it was the first literary wallow I ever read.  As so many of my extreme horror discussions here indicate, good extremity is rare, so while I had read lots of extremity, I had never read extremity as good and purposeful as Exquisite Corpse.  Brite’s novel, about a Dahmer/Nilsen-like desire by killers to keep a corpse with them for as long as they could, employed every sense as he wrote about evisceration and necrophilia.  The tactile experience of intestines in the hands, the sweet, cloying smell of rot, the visceral sensation of, well, viscera – it was all fabulously crafted.  Murder, necrophilia and corpse desecration read with a sickening beauty.  The novel was deeply disturbing on almost every level, which made my enjoyment of the gorgeous decadence all the more questionable to me.  Think about it – what does it say about you when you admit, “This depiction of a terrible murder, evisceration and subsequent decomposition of a raped corpse was some of the most sensual prose I’ve read?”

Lucky for me that was two decades ago and the Internet came along and made everything far less shocking.  But there was no avoiding that Brite’s prose was sensual, a delicious wallow in the forbidden and revolting.  Exquisite Corpse is beautiful because of the revelation that the horrible can be so very beautiful and emotionally satisfying.  It’s the book version of casu marzu and balut.  It’s a delicacy, and that which is a delicacy is often that which is the most outrageous, harmful, foul or upsetting, when you consider all the details.

While The Necrophiliac is not so sensual, not so visceral, had I not read Exquisite Corpse all those years ago, I might not have had a proper frame work for Wittkop’s book.  What I know of necrophilia doesn’t lend itself well to romantic looks at those whose love for the dead extends beyond a sexual compulsion.  The Molly Parker film, Kissed, touched on the subject of romantic necrophilia, but it was very artsy and refined, never really discussing the cold, messy realities of loving the dead.  The grotesque story of Dr. Carl Tanzler, who stole the dead body of a young woman who had died of tuberculosis, mummified it and equipped it with a special “channel” so he could have sex with her for seven years, comes close.  But it wasn’t like Tanzler loved all the dead – rather, he was obsessed and fixated on one specific body.  He didn’t want to make love to corpses.  He wanted to make love to this young woman and, since he could not have her in life, he had her in death. Read the rest of this entry »

Published in: fiction, Human Sexuality, Necrophilia, Transgressive (sort of) | on October 2nd, 2014 | 5 Comments »

Tool by Peter Sotos

Book: Tool

Author: Peter Sotos

Type of Book: Sotos-esque

Why Do I Consider This Book Odd: Because Peter Sotos is the sort of writer whose prose is so indescribable that I have to call it Sotos-esque.

Availability: Published in 2013 by Nine Banded Books, you can get a copy here:

You can also get a copy directly from Nine Banded Books.

Comments: I finished reading this book at 3:00 in the morning and didn’t really sleep that night. I read it in one sitting and though it only took a few hours to read, when I was finished I felt hollowed out. Sick. Queasy. Not unlike how it feels when you crash after a speed bender. Jittery and empty yet all too aware that sleep is not coming. Parts of this book were like being flayed.  I think anyone who was ever victimized finds Sotos a daunting read, but of all the books he has written that I have read thus far, this one was the most upsetting to me.  And the reason I was so upset was because that which is wrong in this book is often wrong in me.

Of course we all know that I read upsetting books because I like being upset (or sickened or awakened or whatever happens to me when I read really difficult content). But even within that paradigm I take a beating when I read Sotos.  Without engaging in too much self-analysis, I can only assume that at the end it was a beating I needed or truly wanted in some way.  This is why I read Sotos.  Because on some level we have similar thoughts – a book like this could only be devastating to a person who has already been down this road.  To the unaffected reader, it might just come off as vulgarity or pointless obscenity.  Despite being trained to analyze literature in an academic manner, I prefer to react in an emotional manner to the books I read.  I don’t really care about the schools of thought and the tradition of transgression that many attempt to apply to Sotos’ work.  When I read him I care only about my reaction, how he pokes at my own obsessions, how he knows so much more than anyone else about the will to harm and the will to survive harm.

I don’t know how this fact had not jumped out at me before, but in every book, keeping in mind every little bit of genuine autobiographical data he gives, Peter Sotos is playing different roles and channeling different people.  He is exploring humanity by speculating about the worst things that go through the minds of the worst people.  Because he is taking on the roles of other people, Sotos, in a very real sense, is engaging in psychodrama. And that is why I am so wrung out at the end of each book he writes. His psychodrama speaks to my own worries, neuroses, experiences and fears.

This is purely incidental. Peter Sotos is not writing for you or for me. Never forget that. Any meaning you take from Sotos’ words may have nothing to do with his intentions as he wrote the book. He’s not trying to relate to us. His psychodramas are his own. They are so deeply personal and unintended for purgation of others that it’s very interesting to me the extreme reactions his writing creates, especially in those who find themselves angry at what they consider Sotos’ wickedness.

That having been said, no matter how incidental any connection I have to this book may be, this book was a great emotional purge for me. Even in the extremity of another person’s psychodrama I found little pieces of my own experiences, most of them unpleasant.  Clearly something in me is perverse enough to enjoy being poked psychically.  It’s a useful pain, I think. Read the rest of this entry »

Published in: Sotos-esque | on September 9th, 2014 | 8 Comments »

Tales of the Macabre and Ordinary by Chris Mikul

Book: Tales of the Macabre and Ordinary

Author: Chris Mikul (longtime readers here may recognize his name – he is the publisher of the excellent ‘zine, Biblio-Curiosa)

Type of Book: Fiction, short story collection, horror

Why Do I Consider This Book Odd: Because Mikul actually does manage to combine the macabre and the ordinary in each story.

Availability: Published by Ramble House in 2009, you can get a copy here:

Comments: The book does what it says on the cover. It delivers macabre (and gross) tales that are also very ordinary in some manner. It’s a very interesting way to tell stories, to permit the narrative to fall flat in some manner, or to tell a story most people know and do it in such a creepy way you make it your own, or to tell a very simple story that seems like it is telling you everything but is really telling you just enough to ask more questions.  At times Mikul denies the reader the catharsis often expected at the end of a tense story because he doesn’t spell things out, and in other instances the narrative ends in a manner that is blunt and horrible. Sometimes the simplest subversions of the traditional story-telling method are the most effective, and each of these stories in some manner are indeed macabre and indeed very ordinary.

The collection has nine stories, and I want briefly to discuss each one. I’ll do my best not to spoil the endings but in a collection like this one, avoiding spoiling endings may well be impossible. Metaphorically, how do you spoil a door slamming in the middle of a sentence? Still, I’ll be careful.

First story, “Dead Spit,” is Patricia Highsmith’s Tom Ripley dropped into the Outback. I don’t think I have spoiled it by describing it this way because, again, the ending will deprive you of the momentum you think the story is gathering. The best part of this story, for me at least, was when I realized that I had created a big mystery clue/red herring due to my own ignorance. I don’t use canola oil because the word canola disgusts me, so I was not aware it comes from plants that collectively are known as canola. I guess I thought canola oil was a mixture of crappier oils and that the trade name for such oil was “canola.” Who knew? Well, evidently everyone else on the planet knew, but that is a detail in this story – working in a canola field and it distracted me from what was really happening.

Jesus, “A Cut Above the Rest” is  Peter Jackson’s earlier films with a touch of “Evil Dead” thrown in. Gross, sort of dumb, quite funny and also gross because I need to emphasize how gross this story was. This story also brings to mind Richard Olen Butler’s Severance, which I should mention I have discussed on this very site. Quick synopsis: fat man tries to win maiden fair by losing weight the hard way.

“Meet Me at the Shot-Out Eye” is a great sort of gritty mystery. Too international for noir but still has that grimy, double-crossing dame feeling. Hero goes to Prague and meets up with a lovely Czech woman with a penchant for sketching people, even during the most inappropriate of moments. Given the length, it’s surprising how layered this story feels when finished. Excellent writing in this one.

Those who regret bitterly their goth years will despise “Blood Sport” but, if you just concentrate on the story instead of your own deep embarrassment at having worn the same Bauhaus t-shirt for years while denouncing Love and Rockets as total sellouts, you can find this story pretty funny at times. Heroine is a teenaged goth with a terrible home life who meets a self-proclaimed vampire (who does not shimmer or glimmer or whatever it was Edward Cullen did) who betrays her. She takes revenge in a very organized manner, killing two birds with one stone, as it were.

“Deddybones” is my favorite story in the collection and I don’t really know why. Les is hired to clear out a creepy old house after the owner dies. The owner had left the home as a sort of unclear monument to a life that never happened when his wife left him. The house is filled with small details that never knit together to form a coherent picture of what awaits Les, and that makes it all the more disturbing. Les falls victim to the house (and takes others down with him as he falls) in a sort of insanity that left me wondering exactly what it was that happened. I mean, we know what happens in a physical sense but never quite get what it is that makes Les go mad, what made the previous tenant go mad, and in turn, that made me feel unsteady, groping for a reason for why things happened as they did. It could be mystical, it could be that sometimes single men lose their bearings. This story is enjoyably frustrating and comfortably familiar in how Les handles the problems that come up as he deals with the fall out from his decisions. I was certain a search on “deddybones” would show me some aboriginal lore that would explain it all but to no avail. Ninety percent of all search results led to this story or to a freelancer in Indonesia. Nope, I am left to wonder what exactly drives Les mad, or if anything drove Les mad.

“The Petrol Run” is an effective story with an abrupt ending. A cult leader goes to prison for child molestation and the cult member left in charge stages a disturbing public reaction to the sentence. This one was probably more effective to me because I had been reading The SCP creepypasta just before reading this story, most notably the notorious SCP-231. Sometimes the external influences are what make a story disturbing, and that was certainly the case for me with “The Petrol Run.”

“Mountain Devils” is close to “Deddybones” in terms of excellence. An older widow paints children’s faces at a local fair, and one boy asks to be painted as a devil. That boy is later a victim of a terrible crime, and the crime doesn’t end with the perpetrator’s death. This is a relatively disturbing story, and the heroine’s end seems abrupt, but when you consider what happens in the story, it actually makes perfect sense when you realize the only person who was affected by the criminal and who did not die was a man in the throws of dementia.

“Barbecue at Nev’s” is some heavy stuff, gentle reader. This one has a pretty solid ending, but one that left me asking all kinds of questions. Family and friends gather for a cook-out and mete justice to one of their own who has stepped outside the boundaries of moral behavior. There are some pretty loathsome details in this one – putting cigarette butts out on cockroaches, for instance. And I don’t think I am giving too much away when I say this story isn’t told in third person, despite all initial appearances that it is. This story is really disturbing in its implications and was skillfully written.

The last story in the collection is “The Wonders of Modern Medicine” and it’s also pretty disturbing. A young woman sleeps through the last stop on her train and finds herself with a dead cell phone and attacked by strange men. And it just gets worse for her from there. This story borrows heavily from urban legend and what is happening is telegraphed pretty clearly but at the same time it’s a nasty little story.

All in all, this was a solid short story collection. Mikul tells you exactly what he plans to do from the outset – he mixes very obvious and at times pedestrian story-telling with extraordinary details, plots and characters. The result is generally that even as you think you know what is coming, you really don’t. And when you do manage to guess, you end up second-guessing yourself. This is a maddening, interesting, entertaining, at times gross and at other times even grosser collection. I liked it a lot. Highly recommended.

Published in: fiction, Horror, Short Story Collections | on July 23rd, 2014 | No Comments »

Hibernation

I think by now all readers here know I am subject to periods of cyclical depression and torpor wherein this site goes silent. I’ve been struggling this year with various issues that have made it hard to concentrate but one of those issues is clearing up (passing a website I ran on to another person) and the fog is lifting. Perhaps it is a sign that my depressions aren’t as terrible as those others face because, lately, when they happen, I don’t really feel hopeless because I remember that wonderful feeling that comes when the depression fades. It feels like Spring. It feels like a small rebirth, a shedding of old, psychic skin. I just have to hold on until my brain chemistry relents.

As a result of my current Spring-time zeal, I have some discussions of interesting books in queue, among them books by Chris Mikul, Dennis Cooper, Peter Sotos, Bradley R. Smith, David Paulides, Alissa Nutting, Hollister Koop, Gabrielle Wittkop, Andy Nowicki, Karen Russell and Michel Faber. (edited because I borked Alissa Nutting first go around, and then edited again because I messed up Bradley R. Smith’s name because the suck is strong with me this entry…)

I’m currently dealing with a minor obsession with mutualism and have been struggling through Kropotkin, which I don’t really recommend to anyone who doesn’t have intractable insomnia. I’ve also found myself spending way too much time reading Brandon Darby’s Twitter feed and his articles over on Breitbart’s site and wondering exactly how much the human sphincter can stretch. I’m not linking to them because I also cannot recommend reading them to anyone except those who really like the taste of vomit in the backs of their mouths. So Google with caution.

What have you guys been reading, investigating, or doing. Share it all, no detail too small. See you Tuesday-ish.

Song of my week, and god bless Laura Jane Grace!

Published in: Uncategorized | on July 19th, 2014 | 8 Comments »