Not a spider (news inspired fiction)

No, a spider did not burrow under a man’s skin and live for three days. [io9]

“It was most certainly not a spider,” the arachnid specialist assured the press conference.

“It was most certainly not a spider,” the arachnid specialist said again adding, “Hearing this story, my first thought is ‘Why would a spider have any interest in an appendectomy scar?’’’

“It was most certainly not a spider,” continued the arachnid specialist. “A spider knows very little of internal human anatomy and would not even know an appendectomy scar could be an entrance.”

“It was most certainly not a spider,” said the arachnid curator of Arachnology (Emeritus), joining the conversation thread. “There is just no historical evidence of interest in under-human-skin travel by any spider populations. A three day trip, burrowing about the torso of a human male? This does not fit with spider customs at all.”

“It was most certainly not a spider,” the arachnologist repeated. “While one cannot rule out the  possibility of environmental and cultural shifts creating subtle differences in behavior as inter-species influence affects social mores — but, I ask, why would a spider want to crawl around inside someone like a mere parasite? A spider surely would not.”

“It was most certainly not a spider,” the arachnid researcher from the Arthropod Institute affirmed. “My initial reaction is that you are looking for a completely different animal. I’m not one to speculate or point a claw but in my professional opinion I see this the work of a mite.”

“It was certainly not a spider,” said the arachnid specialist.

“Certainly not a spider,” the arachnid curator emphasized.

“Not a spider,” concluded the arachnid researcher.

“leave the old flesh”

screencap from Videodrome

Because of the disgusting mess Winter has left all over outside, I’ve been working from home. It’s been all the usual perfectly normal work business up until around noon yesterday when a totally new thing happened to me.

I was sitting on my bed, a portrait of terrible posture, leaning over my work laptop gchatting with a co-worker to let him know an issue had been resolved when an impossibly loud cacophony happened all around me. A noise so enormous it felt heavy –oppressive. Suddenly everything was very bright and then very dim and crackle-y like a bad VHS tape. The “tape” ends abruptly with static fuzz, except it was not just on screen it was everything, everywhere I looked. Then I was laying back in my bed, my legs still crossed like I’d been sitting. I don’t recall falling asleep or waking up, only looking around my room bewildered by fuzz and the noise, then silence and seeing the ceiling plain as day.

According to gchat, five minutes had passed since I’d sent the “no prob” to my co-worker, but it was a blip to me. My heart was racing and I was burning up. No one in the house was panicking like they would if that noise had been real.

Still shaking, I got up and went to ask my mother what low blood pressure feels like. She listened to me describe what I’d felt and, alarmed, asked me what I’d eaten for breakfast and how much coffee I’d had so far. (A banana, two slices of toast with cream cheese, two cups of black coffee, one cup of tea — much better than I usually do when I’m in the office just drinking coffee from 8:30am until lunch.) I followed her to the kitchen and munched on some dried fruit while she fixed us sandwiches and described how she feels when her blood sugar is low. Light-headedness and then extreme tiredness. I felt very awake right then, but figured it was because I’d scared myself into alertness passing out like that. I brought the tall glass of orange juice she gave me back upstairs to my laptop and finished my day of work.

Still weirded out a bit, I joked about it online and a friend tells me to look up “Exploding Head Syndrome” and after some hesitation I wiki’d that shit. Sounds like something out of a cartoon, yeah?

Blunt name aside, and despite the part where I don’t really remember feeling tired before-hand, the description of EHS symptoms is pretty much exactly how I explained the experience to Mom, right afterwards. Here’s an abstract from pubmed on EHS and the wiki page on it that made me go hrmmmm.

Weird stuff — especially considering how excellent I am at sleeping and relaxing and being chill. Can you be too tired to notice? Is my work so boring that I don’t even recognize how dull it is? Seriously though, if this type of thing is as common as the Internet would have us believe, I can certainly see how people could think they were haunted or being messed with by aliens.  This was a wee bit too Videodrome for me.


Love comes in all shapes and sizes, says the cross-stitched inspirational piece on a friend’s wall. A small love flickers into being like a spark and grows quickly, eager to engulf you. A large love looms like a cloud in the distance. Love is all around you. It is blind and unavoidable, you cannot run fast or far enough.  Love will set you free, and tear you apart; it does not specify an order of operations. It is all you need, it says.  Love would like to add you to its professional network on LinkedIn. Love’s invitation is awaiting your response. Love is patient. It waits.

friends doin’ things

Here’s some rad things going on with friends of mine:

Rolling Stone gave Jes’ compilation project benefiting the Rachel’s Women’s Center in Washington, D.C., Beyond Inversion a four star review, and also had some praise for her band Split Feet‘s track, “Cat Mug on Secretaries Day”. (Best title, right?) Jes was my absolute first serious “internet” friend. We met face-to-face before a lot of folks were even making friends online. We gramps go way back, see.

One of my newest friends, Ethan, wrote this piece, Popping the question: ‘Darling, will you share my health insurance?’ about marriage and healthcare for WHYY’s NewsWorks.

Other flawless friends, Mara and Rebecca, are contestants in the ACLU’s My Big Gay Illegal Wedding campaign. Please vote for them every day until 1/27! Get it, ladies!