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    Xenology: Support the Con You Want to See

    Our Booth
    Where I spend my weekend.

    The inherent asset and drawback of No Such Convention is that it is student run. This may mean that, one year, the right student has the right connections to net a guest who will draw crowds. The con has hosted relative luminaries such as cott McCloud, Sandeep Parikh, Jeph Jacques, and RK Milholland, the latter two who decided a few minutes into setting up their tables that this was not a real convention and they could ignore any suggestion that it should be treated as such.

    If you do not have these connections, you end up with Thomm Quackenbush as your headliner.

    Q's in a Pod: Illuminating the Night's Dream Series at No Such Convention 2018

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    A panel discussing the twisted historical foundations of my Night's Dream series, performed at Vassar College's No Such Convention 2018. Topics include: The Philip Experiment, The Visions at Fatima, how NASA was founded by an acolyte of Aliester Crowley, and the Hudson Valley UFO flap.

    Xenology: On the Anniversary of Your Death

    I miss you.

    So you've been dead for a year. I won't point out that you have made no apparent attempt to contact me from beyond the grave. I consider this a little rude on your part. Not as rude as taking heroin until your heart gave up, but rude.

    Xenology: Of Chocolate Marmosets

    He seems wise.

    I suggest the Trevor Zoo because they are having a free hot chocolate day. Even though it is likely from Swiss Miss packets, something I could buy for a matter of pennies if I did not have boxes of it in my home in preparation of sledding adventures, it is still a good excuse to spend with friends looking at caged animals. What is better than a sweet, hot beverage and marmosets?

    The zoo is run by the students of the adjoining Millbrook School, along with trained vets and zoologists. Amber visited them in her educational capacity months ago, coming close to cuddling a sick red panda, a feat on most people's buckle lists.

    Xenology: Of Befriending a Comedian

    The blessing and curse of befriending a comedian is that you will, eventually, go to a show. I have watched several of David's shows online, so I know the cadence of his comedy and, thankfully, laugh. If I didn't find him funny, I do believe it would curtail any burgeoning friendship. However, comedy is a subjective art form and, unfortunately, some comedians are about as funny as crib death (but, you know, the sad kind).

    Xenology: Thirty-Eight Minutes

    The world is not shy about implying it might end sooner than a supernova, mega-caldera explosion, or the heat death of the universe. Our president exchanges nuclear dick jokes with a dictator. Supposed clerical errors resulted in Hawaii believing for the better part of an hour that ballistic missiles were headed toward them. The Centers for Disease Control wants to educate people as to what they should do in the (unlikely, they say) event of a nuclear war. Considering one's actions in the aftermath is no longer a purely academic exercise.

    As such, I will eschew Amber's suggestion of a zombie apocalypse. The threat will not be from reanimated corpse or internet memes, something avoided easily enough. If the missiles fall, there will be no way to escape the ramifications, even if one is not at the epicenter.

    Xenology: Twenty-Seventh Kiss Is the Charm

    My first kiss is a matter of debate. I know the person, but would argue over the moment.

    At fourteen, at an Independence Day carnival, I met a girl. She was dating one of my older brother's friends, a fact she did not reveal until after I spent my tickets taking her on the Ferris wheel, where she lay her head on my shoulder and squeezed my thin upper arm for protections as though the gondolas might throw us.

    We did not kiss then because, though I wanted to finally have a first kiss, I knew better than to steal it from the lips of the romantically occupied.

    Xenology: Three Interesting Topics

    You are meant to have three interesting things to talk about, three topics on which you are experienced, beyond the weather -- unless you are a meteorologist or climatologist.

    I can talk about sex dolls, paranormal history and theories, and the necessary morality of self-driving cars. People assume I have other topics after that, because these are so niche, and no one knows such specific things without gleaning further context of the rest of the world but, no, this is my depth. All else is trivia enough to get through the cocktail parties to which I have never been invited.

    Xenology: The Disappearing Act

    When I Vanish

    For twenty years, I have been able to see the tide rising a minute before it washes me away. I try to warn people, but it isn't their ocean. All they notice is pounding veins in foreheads, their hands gripped into tight fists, the copper in their throats, then I get a panicked and mournful expression and tell them I have dissociated.

    As though a fuse had blown, I can no longer remember what the argument was about, nor can I keep my mind on what just happening. Melanie once doubted that I had this condition, thinking it was a cop-out, because she wanted to get heated. Daring to tell her I needed to keep the conversation calm to maintain a place in it was nonsensical, but it is my only defense against it, feeling my mind slipping and warning the other party I am close to my evaporation.

    I justify that I want to keep things respectful, but it is also that I need to protect myself from temporary oblivion, the shame of it, the frustration of breaking down. I can be distraught and remember everything, but dissociation looms when the issue it involves someone I love and fear losing, which to my mind is evidently among the worst things that can happen.

    Xenology: A Cup o Kindness Yet

    The stocky boy, probably named Moose, yells at his thin, cultured parents in the Curry House. I say "yells," but I am not certain a voice like his knows another setting, sonorous and searching for ears to overhear how wise his nineteen years have made him.

    He is a student at Bard College or, I extrapolate, was until recently and this, sitting in an Indian buffet, is the first his parents are hearing of it. He either owed the college some money or failed the semester catastrophically and was asked to leave. Either way, it is categorically not Moose's fault and, through repetition, he hopes to make it his parents' fault.

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