Issue 7 - 01/21/19
- Abyssal Miscellanea
- QUIZ: Choose Some Ways to Die and We'll Tell You Which FRIENDS Character is Your Mom
- A Functional Member of Society
- The Death of Cock Robin
- The Potty Monster Cometh
- Hot Takes
- Horoscopes: Super Blood Wolf Moon
- Office Chart
Abyssal Miscellanea: A Bestiary of Second-Rate Entities Omitted from Lovecraftian Canon
Ascendant-level contributor Matt Spradling
The Colour out of the Dishwasher - Between 1972 and 1984, nearly two dozen cases were documented concerning the emergence of a color from household dishwasher appliances, all in the region between the Eastern shore of the Mississippi River around Illinois and Lake Erie. Homeowners reported that late at night after light-to-medium washing cycles, strange, unearthly hues would appear to leak and glow around the appliance. Although none could describe what the colors were, most corroborated that the colors seemed to be affected by the type of foods being washed off of the dishware inside. Italian seemed to trend towards the warmer end of the spectrum, seafood towards the colder. 6 documented fatalities.
The Blackpool Friend - Regarded by many as an Irish urban legend, it's said that many a tourist taking a ferry across the way for day-trips to the Blackpool area has encountered a past acquaintance that insists on spending the entire day with them and from whom it is impossible to politely get away. After returning home, victims forget all features of this entity and realize they never knew them beforehand, either. Especially fond of that Ferris wheel.
The Mince Pie in the Wallpaper - Said to gradually appear in the rough form of a mince pie in the patterns of cork wallpaper, especially in the bedrooms of adolescents. Many claim to have undertaken a discourse with the pie, usually concluding with the pie either revealing the date on which the subject lost or will lose their virginity, or else revealing the word "yes," an answer to the question of, all subjects agreed, though they did not ask, whether or not Santa exists. All subjects of the latter variety without exception were driven insane and died prematurely of unknown causes on Christmas day.
Broth Faeries - Bone, Chicken & Vegetable - Particularly difficult to avoid, these entities appear wherever hot soup exists, except they don't appear as they are invisible and indeed cannot actually interact with our plane at all. Nonetheless, they are wont to splash around in the soup as best they can and treat it more or less like a spa, leaving once the soup is consumed or the heat exhausted. The chicken broth variety are the most common and are especially fond of bubbles. The vegetable broth variety approach the ordeal rather stoically but still do enjoy themselves. The bone broth variety, however, are profoundly and singularly unpleasant. They are intensely territorial and will claim the soup as their own, following it defiantly into the consumer's body and ultimately infesting their bones. It is unknown what long-term effects, if any, exist, but once there, they never leave. Are passed onto offspring ad infinitum.
The Wet Dreams in the Boarding School - No additional information
Room-Temperature Air - No additional information
The Smell out of Space - N ddtnl nfrmtn
The Secret Boy in the Not-Secret Cave - NNNN
QUIZ: Choose Some Ways to Die and We'll Tell You Which FRIENDS Character is Your Mom
Seneschal-level contributor Sam Strohmeyer
You're cruising on the Atlantic when your ship tragically hits an iceberg. Would you rather...
Slowly sink to the murky depths
Get too chilly on the lifeboat
Be a midnight snack for a sweet sharky boy
You're hiking in a deserted forest and realize you've lost the trail and all hope. Would you rather...
Pick a fight with a fluffy grizzly bear
Poke an angry bee hive with a stick
Try out a handful of those bright orange mushrooms you saw all the animals avoiding
You're on a flight to live your #bestlife in Cabo. Would you rather...
Choke on the too salty peanuts
Have one too many G&Ts and hit your head in the lavatory
Get sucked out of a window and fly like a bird till the end
Your mom is... ROSS!!! Everyone's mom is Ross now. I dare you to check. You're going to call her in a minute and she's going to pick up the phone and scream, "WE WERE ON A BREAK!" She will be insufferable until you can lift the curse.
QUIZ: Answer three random questions and we will tell you how to lift the curse that turned your mom into Ross
What's your Hogwarts house?
Which #millennial snack is your go to?
Eel head pizza cup
How many times have you been visited by the one who follows the river and speaks only in riddles?
Who told you?!
d̸̡͇̻̰̞͚̒͌̃́̀̐̉̅̕̚͜o̶̲̜̪̳̠̒͛͌́̀̒́͑́ ̴̯̣͖̔̐͂ṅ̶͈̜̟͓̥͊͗̈͘o̸̹̹͓͌͑̑̌́̅͋̈̂͝t̷̡͖͚̝̞̜͈̱͍͑̓̈́̏̂̍̑ ̵̧̨̠͖̩̖̪͇͕̏̀͒͘a̵͔̫͔̯̪̓̒͂̒̔̈̒͑͝s̷̘̬̋̓̔̈́̄͛̍̚̚k̷̪͖̥̄̏̿̂͛̒̌͊̐́ ̴̧̻̳͔̀̍̃͂̑̀̚̚q̵̧̡̛͚͚͇̿̾̓͋͒͜͝u̵̟̾̀̑̏͊̇̏ę̵̲̻̰̒́̉͂̇͗͘s̵̢͉̗̦͒̃̎͝ṯ̶͒̌͒ĩ̸̢̖̟̪̈́̾͠o̸̡̯̬̯̻͚͔͚̣̪̽̔̂̽̍̋n̷̛͍͎̮̰͎̫̟̬̿͂̈́͗̀͒̈̎͝s̴̡̛̰̙̬̱̮̓̉͋͑̈́̆͘͝͝ͅͅ ̵͖̝́̅͑̓͘͝ẙ̶̢̦̖͐̒̎ő̶̜̦̈́̃͑̍̕ư̶̼͎͊̈́͋̋͂̓̈́͆̈́ ̶̛̬̪͙̠̜̪̙͇̊̈́̃̏̎̅͌̕͝d̷͚̮̗̞͍͚̎͆̿͋͂̂͆͘͝o̵͕̙̺̭͕̹̖̦̍̆̌ ̴̲̤̠̌̈́́͑̊͗͝ṋ̵͔̦̄̀͊͒̕͘ͅö̶̳͚̪́͆̏̃͜t̴̯̟̱̬̹̣̽͗ͅ ̴͍̩̲̬͖̭̀̓̇̐̄̒̃̔̽͜ẃ̵̼̘̰̈́̍͘à̷̛̺̘ń̴̡̻̝͖͕͌̔̾̿̌̕͠ͅẗ̵̮͉̮͈͙̰̼̺̲́͆̄͂̅͜ ̵̥̥͓͐̕t̵͖͂͌̓͋͂̓́ḧ̷̡͚͖̼̳̼̬̉̚͜ē̶̡̯̪̘͍̭ ̶̝͍͈͖̻̖̱͇̞̽̿̏̍́̈̕͘͜͝ã̴̘̼̯͈̹͕̰͉̏̊͛̏̾̂̈̿͜ͅn̷̨̢͍͎̣͈̹͉̮͚̒͆̚ş̴̥̝̩̂̎͐w̴̗̲̩̙̻͙͈̃̓̔͛͜͠ȩ̴̧̛̠̯͖̺͚r̶͕̭̣̥͙͕͓͚̩̽͆̃̐͒́͆̓̾̉ṣ̸̙̳̮̖̲͝ ̶̢̛͉̠̙̗̈͗̎̊̍͑t̶̢̻̞̹͙́̈́̉͆̿̒͛̕͝ô̶̜͉̣̝̻̩̘̄ͅ
Okay, I don't know how to lift the curse! I don't even know how to lift my own curse! I can only communicate via this quiz format and let me tell you, it is HELL. Maybe having Ross as your mom will be fun! She can tell you all about dinosaurs and have a pet monkey. I mean, she will be just insufferable 90% of the time but it could be worse.
Ugh, FINE! I might know a guy who can help you.
QUIZ: Can we guess which ancient wizard can lift your curse based on your top three favorite Ariana Grande songs?
What is your favorite song from Dangerous Woman?
Side to Side
What is your favorite song from Sweetener?
No Tears Left to Cry
God Is a Woman
What is your favorite song from Thank U, Next?
Thank U, Next?
His name is Rudlefund the Righteous and you'll find him in the smallest cave between the Forest of White Wind and the Tower of Marlug the Fair. Oh, and sometimes he hangs out at Bennu. You'll have to bring him a cassette of some Ariana Grande songs to get him to help you because he's crazy about her but he stopped understanding technology in early 1981. Please don't tell him I sent you.
A Functional Member of Society
Provost-level contributor Alex Speed
For most of my life I've been a garbage person. You know the type. I've had beer for breakfast. I've told myself rinsing bowls off in the sink counts as washing them. If I wake up really thirsty in the middle of the night I cup my hands together and drink out of the faucet. One time I bought a $1 slice of pizza at 7/11 and the guy at the counter gave me two slices - it was the best day of my life.
I recently started working in an office again. Like a real life "I get up really early and spend essentially my whole day there and I come home to my dog who is very confused as to where I've been all day and why I smell like red wine now" job. I'm trying to adopt good habits like waking up way earlier than I need to so I can "ramp up to my day." Not a fan.
My dog does this very specific thing whenever I leave in the morning. I have to sort of trick him by playing with him, then taking him outside, then putting out his food before I shut the door to the backyard and leave for my desk filled day. Whenever I'm shutting the door, my dog does the exact same motion. He rears his head back from his food bowl and looks back at me like a pool noodle when you're trying to force it back into that weird plastic container at your aunt's house. This usually hurts me and I have to call to him as I leave: "I love you, I'll be back later." I know he can't understand me - he's a fucking dog. But, dammit I miss him.
I feel like what I'm learning about being a functional member of society (warning this isn't the normal sort of funny shit you probably expect from newsletter) is that choosing to participate also means choosing to let go of what you previously found as meaningful. If I had my way I would just stay in bed with my dog watching Downton Abbey until we melted into my faux memory foam mattress like a cheap 80's horror movie - but in this instance that's really all we want. Complete absorption into passive, minimally invasive, non-choosing existence.
That's what it's like to be a functional (more like fucktional! Ha!) member of society.
The Death of Cock Robin
Ascendant-level contributor Matt Spradling
This is a print made by artist Emily Winfield Martin.
Visit her website, it's lovely.
It hangs in our bathroom and is possibly my favorite art out of all the art we own. Which isn't a ton, but still. Is the bathroom a less-than-respectful place for your favorite art? Or is it ideal because that's where art will most often have a captive audience? I don't know. We really just put it there because everywhere else was full and it matched the color scheme.
I don't know how to talk about art. I never studied art or took Art History in school or visited more than a couple museums/exhibits. But even if I had the vocabulary and the template for discussing art, I'm not sure that would help, because I'm not sure I actually understand what it is that I like about this.
I like birds. I like that the style is fanciful, but the subject is death, giving it not a morbid but sort of a dark fairy tale mood. I like death as a subject in general, I guess, depending on how it is approached. Not in like an emo way. Or is that kind of inherent?
I like that all different types of birds are present, and I like the way they all look so unsure except for the knowing crow, as though they've all been playing their game but been stopped short because someone got hurt. I like the way there's a sort of egg shape to the center of it that makes you think about the cycle of birth and life and death. I like the way the light seems to emanate from this center. I like how the light is also above, while the darkness is below and encroaching up the sides.
On the morning I found out I'd have to have heart surgery, Thom Yorke released a song called "Unmade." It is gorgeous and sad and there's bird imagery and bits about being comforted and maybe or maybe not putting broken pieces back together. All poignant enough. I remember looking at this painting a lot that day and also buying a breakfast taco.
I guess I recommend using our bathroom.
The Potty Monster Cometh
Ascendant-level contributor Matt Spradling
I work at a coffee shop. It's fine.
This coffee shop happens to be in a big complex with mainly an HEB and also lots of other bougies facilities that have to do with nails and backs and some less bougies facilities that have to do with $7 cheese fries and $10.50 Freebirds but I'm not naming names.
This complex comes with security guards. I'm not at all clear if they belong to HEB specifically or the complex in general. Either way, such nuances don't stop one of these heroes from frequenting my happy little corner of Hancock.
I usually work closing shifts. That means working past dark. Dark is spooky when you're inside and it's outside. Sometimes nights are hard because people are expired juice vomit incarnate. Sometimes nights are hard because a young homeless woman comes in and pretends to talk on the phone for two hours. Sometimes nights are hard because the milk of 40 cows and 200 almonds is not enough to sate the public's lust for hot cocoas and you must make an emergency pilgrimage to the HEB across the way and possibly also Twin Liquors. But sometimes nights are chill. Real chill. Too chill.
Sometimes when it's a chill night, you'll be doing your chill business at a chill pace, and, lulled into a false sense of security and life-satisfaction, may glance out upon the parking lot like you do absentmindedly several, even many, times a day. But sometimes, especially when you least expect it, there will be a golf cart instead of a car. This is surprisingly unsettling in the moment. Or maybe this is only unsettling because of what I know.
For a while - and by a while, I mean Summer 2016 to December 2018 - one aforementioned heroic security guard tended to frequent our caf'e'e'. He did this exclusively at night, and he did this exclusively to use the bathroom. He used said bathroom for a minimum of 20 minutes and a maximum of unknown. And when I say used, I mean it.
Fade out. Sometimes I'll see this man chilling in his golf-cart when I take out the trash in the day time. He tends to just bury his head in his phone, watching god-knows what, but it's turned horizontal, which means he's committed. He doesn't acknowledge me.
Hard cut. The lights inside are warm and dim, safe yet fragile. If this reads like I've been drinking, it's because I have, and that's because I'm afraid.
And now I sit watching the Windows clock bottom-right go around second-by-second for a minute and a half while listening to and comparing it to the ticking of an actual clock in my kitchen because I can't actually fathom how the two could sync up perfectly and I'm terrified of what would happen if I found that they didn't. Point being, I guess, that's how he - it - makes me feel.
To be clear, I don't at all mind when people come in purely to use our bathroom and then leave. I don't have a personal stake in this business, and I'm not convinced that such borrowings have an adverse effect on said enterprise. Even if they did, I like to provide a public service. The asterisk to that whole sentiment, though, is that the borrower be respectful, which is to say, not fucking ruin the bathroom for 45-90 minutes, leaving the very tile and ceramic gasping on its proverbial knees in need of a rest as though it had just run a marathon and might very well crumble under your weight if made to work again too soon.
I guess it could be worse. I've attended to public restrooms for nigh on a decade now and I've certainly seen far worse things. The smell though -
I don't think we think about smell enough. It's the sense that is most often left out of fiction, both written and filmed. Novels sometimes describe smell, but only when it is especially abnormal. Movies almost never discuss smell. There was that one time at Disneyworld when they had short films with smells and smoke and moving chairs and stuff but that never made it past the Florida border for good reason. Point being, you don't think about smell until you smell a smell that smells particularly smelly, and then it's far too late. This is what this denizen of the night forces me to contemplate roughly three times a week, and the 46th time isn't any easier than the 1st.
The lights calm. The noise of the cafe pleasant, subdued. A woman orders a drip coffee with room and pays with exact change. A ding at the door. I bend and pour from the carafe. Not too hot to handle, not too cold to drink. I rise.
Crash-zoom on the front windows. For the most part, the glass merely reflects what is inside - yellow lights, passing customers, my blank face. Blended with these as though through a dimensional collision is the half light of the parking light outside falling faintly, fearfully, across a shape, a vehicle, squat and square, slightly but aggressively crooked within the handicap spot. These are the moments that change entire nights if you're lucky, and can set the tone for entire weeks if you're not careful.
We grew used to this eventually, or as used to it as possible. Not completely acceptable and yet understandable, inevitable, like herds of antelope with the reality of lions ever present at the back of their minds, or poor villagers who know they may be visited by the Sheriff of Nottingham on any day, though this story has no merry outlaws for us to eulogize around the fire on cold nights. We the brave Scotsmen flapping our kilts about, they the cold-hearted English governors invoking Prima Nocta on our freshly purified facilities. The list goes on. Some days there is nothing but the list.
Then on Wednesday I realized something. It hadn't been a perfect week by any means, but there was a burden missing from our shoulders, the air felt less foul, the customers less perturbing. When was the last time the Potty Monster had been sighted? I couldn't remember. At least since before my leave of absence in December. I asked my friend. He didn't know either, he answered, surprised, cautiously optimistic. I checked with the group chat of coworkers on our scheduling app. No response - ominous, but understandable.
I realized I'd already spoken his name three times, and there wasn't enough knockable wood in the city of Austin to mitigate such recklessness. Can lapses of judgement in the throes of victory be forgiven? Is it inevitable that indiscretions abound when pressure is lifted at long last?
That night I slept well, but my naive reverie was fated to last nary 24 hours. I received a text while cooking dinner. All I could tell from the preview was that it contained a dark photograph.
To be continued? I fear so.
Ascented-level conedribbler Match Spaulding
The other day my allergies were suddenly so severe that, whether because of them directly or because of the cocktail of medications I'd ingested with $2/lb HEB brand creme brulee flavored coffee, I went to some places. This is the record left behind from these travels.
I feel nothing and simultaneously everything at once
The world is both a lie and all there is
Light is death and beauty
I saw Passengers in theaters
Newsletter is a funeral barge for that which does not deserve immortality
The artist Crossfit Junkies has 151 albums on spotify
I know this because i counted manually
I'd say the average number of songs per album is about 30
That means ~4,530 songs
How can the light prevail when there is so much darkness
Alex says that if you are regularly getting high and listening to jazz, you are significantly less likely to be a shitty person than if you weren't
That sounds true but I also can't imagine doing that
No one ever talks about it but Kentucky is an absolutely ridiculous word
Lagrange Points scare me
The iCloud Backup of Dorian Gray - think about it?
Horoscopes: Super Blood Wolf Moon
Seneschal-level contributor Sam Strohmeyer
The Super Wolf Blood Moon happened last night and you all know what that means! Absolutely nothing. But never fear! I'm gonna make some stuff up for you to believe.
CAPRICORN - Capricorn, the Super Blood Wolf Moon brought some negative energy into your life so you need to cleanse your space. With fire. Start a great big fire. Roll around in the ashes and feel the toxins run screaming from your flesh.
AQUARIUS - Leave your window open tonight so you can absorb all that wild moon magic, Aquarius. And if you're lucky a lonely werewolf will sneak in and give you a gentle kiss on the cheek. How sweet!
PISCES - The Super Blood Wolf Moon threw a wrench in your plans, Pisces, so throw a wrench back at it. Gather as many wrenches as you can find at your local Home Depot and throw them at the traitor moon. How do you like it, you celestial bitch! Take that!
ARIES - Let the pure cosmic power released by the Super Blood Wolf Moon fuel you, Aries. Feel the spark of divine life course through your veins. Realize your true potential. Pick up a big rock and just eat it. Eat rocks.
TAURUS - The aftermath of the Super Blood Wolf Moon has you feeling pretty sexy, Taurus. Use that lustful energy and build a barn in the lot behind your neighbors house. For an extra steamy treat plant some sensual wheat and yams nearby. I'm all hot and bothered just imagining it.
GEMINI - Gemini, now is the time for some self-care after that exhausting Super Blood Wolf Moon. Draw yourself a hot bath. Add some rose petals, lavender salts, and the hoof of an old goat to really reset and start anew. Don't you dare add the hoof of a young goat. If you do I will call the police.
LEO - My research tells me that the Super Blood Wolf Moon is in Leo. I don't... I don't know what that means? I think you should feel around for any lumps or bumps. Maybe see a doctor or a... midwife? I hope you have good insurance.
VIRGO - A snake gonna get ya!
LIBRA - (づ｡◕‿‿◕｡)づ
SCORPIO - The Super Blood Wolf Moon has you questioning everything, Scorpio. Find some answers in the ocean. A big crab will tell you everything you need to know. He will tell you nothing. You need to know nothing.
SAGITTARIUS - Don't let the Super Blood Wolf Moon take you for the bath, Sagittarius. You must call the female or the toes will find it on it and below the sink. Relish on purple bloom and third man can peel from that time. 011-49-703-115-3598
Moby - Shot In The Back Of The Head
Bright Eyes - Ladder Song
Massive Attack, Ghostpoet - Come Near Me
UNKLE - Hold My Hand
Portishead - The Rip
Mitski - A Horse Named Cold Air
Radiohead - Pyramid Song
Car Seat Headrest - Beast Monster Thing (Love Isn't Love Enough) / Hey, Space Cadet (Beast Monster Thing in Space)