John Scalzi is a cannibal.

October 30, 2012 In The News, Writing Comments (0) 346

Author John Scalzi’s downward spiral continues. As if admitting to being a rapist and an Obama voter in one week weren’t enough, this morning he confessed via Twitter that he is a practicing cannibal.

The man seems to take sick pleasure in confessing his perversions while so many of us are powerless, trapped in our homes by the storm God sent to punish gays and liberals. He really squicks me out. I have never been as squicked out as I am right now. I bet he didn’t even get their consent before he ate those neighbors.

Surely now SFWA must take action against their current president, the neighbor-devouring, raping socialist. Or perhaps they will take the same approach the USDA and other dietary groups took toward Ronald Reagan. Of course, unlike Scalzi, Ronald Reagan never tweeted that he was a cannibal.

UPDATE: Oh sure, Scalzi will try to play this off as satire. He must have realized his mistake before he posted the tweet, based on his hashtags, #Whoops and #ThingsNotToSayOnTwitter. Only the sheer hubris of the current president of the SFWA could have motivated him to post that incriminating tweet.

In all likelihood he will claim this is some statement about human rights, as if the rights of the unborn aren’t relevant to his cannibalistic ways, as if such arguments didn’t fly in the face of science and common decency. This is liberal hypocrisy at its very worst, and exactly how the Nazis got started.

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Simple enough guidelines

October 24, 2012 Writing Comments (0) 203

From the submission guidelines of a literary magazine to which I may or may not be submitting work:

NON-FICTION: Nonfiction submissions should not be terrible. They should also be interesting. If you want to tell us about a rewarding personal experience, do not. That is why god invented friends.

Well, that’s clear.

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10.22.2012: Saying Goodbye

October 22, 2012 Animals, Personal Comments (2) 401

Sorry, folks, gonna be a total Debbie Downer here for a minute.

Soon after my freshman year of college, my family went to the local animal shelter and picked out a pair of kittens. Actually, the “shelter” was more like a trailer with cats on every flat surface, and a medium-sized cage in the middle of the floor, containing five kittens.

The first one was easy enough to pick out – he was standing up against the front of the cage, crying for attention. His four siblings were shy, huddled in the corner watching us. We arbitrarily grabbed one a black and white one, and skeedadled out of that place in a hurry.

We named the black cat Bagheera, after the black panther who becomes Mowgli’s mentor in Kipling’s Jungle Book. Bagheera was bold and adventurous, and never shy about letting us know he wanted something. His brother, who was cautious and mostly followed his brother’s lead, we named Shadow. Shadow loved nothing more than to be held. As a kitten, we would cradle him like a baby for what seemed like hours at a time, carrying him along as we did chores or watched TV. Even when he went to the vet, he loved for the nurses to pick him up and carry him as they checked on other animals.

As they aged, their personalities changed. Bagheera became the nervous, cautious one, while Shadow always met everyone at the front door. Neither cat ever loved our dog, Copper, whose tail tended to swing like a mace when Copper got excited, but Shadow at least acknowledged the dog. All Bagheera ever did was smack Copper’s nose when he got too close. Shadow’s name came to take on a new meaning. It wasn’t so much his brother that he followed – it was my mom. For a decade and a half, wherever she went in the house, Shadow was at her side. He slept on her lap most nights, and cried at her door when she closed him out.

While Bagheera aged, Shadow never seemed to. Hyperthyroidism kept him skinny and energetic. He was thirteen or fourteen when he caught his first mouse, using only his back claws – fifteen years ago, we had a different attitude toward declawing. That seemed to awaken some instinct within him, and suddenly he took an interest in toy mice, chasing them back and forth across the living room when I threw them. Bagheera came down with diabetes and kidney problems, but other than his hyper thyroid, Shadow stayed skinny but healthy.

Until today. Today we learned that Shadow has cancer. It’s neither operable nor treatable. He doesn’t seem to be in any pain, but he’s lost most of his appetite and his kidneys are pretty much shut down. The vet doesn’t know if he has hours, days, or weeks, but she’s pretty sure this is the end.

I haven’t lived at home since 2005, and since both cats are older (and Bagheera, with his various health problems, has been through more than one false alarm) I admit I’ve been mentally preparing for this for a while. For the past couple of years, each time I’ve visited the house I’ve taken a moment with each cat, just in case it was the last time I saw them. They’ve been part of the family for almost half my life, and I am very sad to have to say goodbye.

John Cocteau said he loved cats because “I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.” I’ve always thought this to be true. The Keelty family home will not be the same without its Shadow.

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New York / Philadelphia

October 22, 2012 Personal, Philly / Pennsylvania, Travels Comments (0) 291

Made a quick trip to NYC this weekend so Liz and I could attend my cousin’s wedding, which was a lot of fun and he and his new wife seem really happy. I got up early Saturday so I could squeeze in my long run in Central Park before the wedding. It was a beautiful morning for a run, and though my gastrointestinal tract was quite unhappy with me (six beers the night before a long run is rarely a good idea) Central Park is always a fun place to run and people-watch.

By far the most memorable part was the older woman who was out for a training run, pooped herself, and kept going. So when I came up behind her, she had streaks of liquid shit running down the insides of her legs and soaking into her socks. This is a common sight at marathons. Among tens of thousands of people running three to four hours each, one or two are going to get the runs, and after several months of hardcore training (and the cash one lays out for a major marathon) it’s common to keep running anyway. On a training run, though?

Afterward, Liz told me that woman is sort of famous in Central Park for doing that. Gross.

I’ve started to alleviate the tedium of travel by taking photographs. They’re just camera-phone shots, but at this point camera phones can take some pretty nice photos, even without Instagram filters. I’m sharing a few here, and I’ll save some of my favorites so they can have their own posts.

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It’s Fall in Philadelphia

October 2, 2012 Philly / Pennsylvania Comments (0) 333

My favorite time of year here.

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