Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Fiblet!! Excerpt from Samual Heyling's Tale

Here's a little taste of the sci-fi epic and even though this passage contains the word 'dragon' it is very much sci-fi and NOT FUCKING FANTASY!!!

You'll have to stay tuned to find out more. Just as a warm up Samual Heyling is a figure of legend on the world of Mirabilis. The entire scope of the epic actually evolved from his tale which takes place a few hundred years after the fall of Ander's empire and several hundred years before Aevan Steelcraft ever graced the southern shores of Aederon in the five kingdoms.

Basically the original idea was to make a work mocking J.R.R Tolkien (see that would be blasphemy in the fantasy world but oh well) and the approach of gambling the fate of the world to rugged little gluttons.

The world of Mirabilis faces a similar peril, the evil King of Tensia, Arthur DeLean has waged a war on humanity and employs minions, trolls and even dragons against the wretched souls who live there.

However Samual leads his people out of their funk and turns to industry, not magicks or cunning, or anything so romantic to turn the tide. Enjoy the fiblet. Just remember this is a first draft and though I was tempted I haven't altered it except for a few minor spelling errors.

The polished version will be much sexier.


Dragons of Tensia. For a hundred days they had burned our cities, dropping their sacks of fire far beyond the range of the strongest bowmen and always under cover of night. Our people feared their beds for not a night past when people were not shaken from them by the flames of our enemy or the screams of their burning neighbors.

Each night the royal astronomers peered through their telescopes, tracking the beasts closer and closer to where they perched. The King demanded a sortie against the beasts. However maddening and frightful they were he would not risk a decent commander, nor any of his trusted troops to confront the beasts while they slept.

Instead he commissioned a small army and commanded me to lead it. I suppose it would have been a convenient way to dispatch me if it had worked. Every aspect of the attack was set to fail. I had never lead more than a handful of soldiers into battle. I had never lead a three day march in peacetime or war. And I have never had the misfortune to serve with such dreadful men.

They were culled, my first army, from the deepest dregs of our fair city. Criminals and commoners, dissidents and drunkards filled our ranks. Inspection was a joke. One in then was missing and eye or a few fingers, was mad in the head or could barely stand under the weight of their own drink.

A thousand souls or more marched forth in the night. We made slow progress, moving only in darkness for three long days. The second night our camp burst into flame and we lost a hundred men to wounds or death. The beasts must have seen our campfires for their flaming sacs landed on them with uncanny precision. Another hundred disappeared in the morning. Our third night we scattered and dispersed camps, lit no fires and sheltered under whatever rocks we could find. Still the beasts found us though we lost a mere score.

A few more deserted but we were nearing the Tensian border and lone men do not survive long without horses or armies to shelter them. In this task we expected to march into a barren waste, devoid of life or happiness. Instead we found fertile soil, lush with flowers and fruit that covered the land. It was almost as if the whole country were being cultivated. A few idiotic souls decided to eat the fruits of the land. When the fools began to shit their own guts the remaining men took care not to peck at aught but their rations.

At last, that fourth night we arrived at the base of a small mountain, perhaps a thousand feet tall. Even in the dim light we could see caves dotting the hill, showing openings and hiding places. Dusk had long fallen but the lights of Cala and Bria showed us the way. And as I plotted our approach the beasts began to stir.

We watched these creatures, so rarely seen by the naked eye, scramble out of their hiding holes and ascend various paths to the summit. Once there the creatures, each bearing a small sac of their flammable liquids, would jump off one side and glide for a long distance before thier huge flimsy wings could bear them to a safe altitude.

Only thirty minutes passed and for reasons I cannot guess we were not discovered. The last of the beasts flung itself from the summit and beat its wings off into the darkness. Only an hours march or less seperated us from the place where evil slept. I weighed the decision carefully and decided to gamble our fates.

We charged, well rather we jogged to the base of the hill and then ascended on foot. Ye gods, the noise we made would have alerted the dead yet we saw no challenge issue forth. Ascending the southern slope brought us to many of the small openings. Heat and the stench of some awful fetid heinousness seemed to belch forth constantly. Though my soul screamed in torment with every footstep I lead my men inside.

No sooner had I raised my torch did one of the beasts confront us. Only two men could crouch abreast in the passage way. I stood alone, sword in my sheathe, holding a bit of burning cloth and stared into the eyes of my enemy. Green globes, huge by any standard of measure, leered back at me.

Teeth gnashed and steel claws hissed upon the stone of the corridor. The beast lunged for me and I could only throw out my naked fist in defense. I expected my arm to be crushed and the thing to quickly eat me while my idiotic soldiers stood by in horror but to my surprise I lived to tell this tale.

The tiny, pitiful bones of my hand passed through the creature's skull like an arrow through paper. It fell over dead, before I could realize that I was not going to be devoured any time soon.

I looked the creature over, studied it thoroughly as I listened for more. This was no menace of steel and troll hide. The pitiful beast was gossamer, flimsy as a sagging breast through infinitely less resilient. My hasty stroke had actually severed one of the beasts arms, hollow bones poked through transparent skin and foul blood gushed from a dozen places onto my steel-shod boots.

"See that," I called to my men. "From the air these beasts are all but invincible. Here, where they dwell a child could dispatch them and still be home in time for supper." Cheers rang out and good spirits flowed from heart and flask alike. We pushed on into the lair and crushed the young and unborn dragons until our arms ached from it.

After the last had been crushed we sat outside and rested for a brief spell. There was no time for celebration as the adults would be returning soon to roost. Though they would be coming home to shattered eggs and slain youth each of the adults was huge compared to their young. And they would be angry....

Epic Related: Blue 5-Subject, 200 page 5 subject

As part of the ongoing project to capture and retain some of my earlier work I am instantiating my former feeble scribblings to real 1's and 0's just in case some tragedy befalls my house/notebooks.

This particular effort begins with a partially filled notebook beginning with excerpts from the BoL or "Book of Life" which was the name for Maynard Cassidy's journal in the first novel: Fair Coin.

Remember I am not editing for content or punctuation but if I can't read or make sense of something I'll annotate with brackets my best guess.
[page one]
BoL Excerpts

Ch 12 Iris & Co.
Ch 14 Stripes-chase
Ch 15 Polish-rooftop
Ch 16 Halloween
26 Shit with Iris
36 Southern Hospitalization
37 funeral
39 Colorado
40 Mira House
41 Revenge
42 Chase Scene
43 Ska House
44 end
45 epilogue

12. An enemy of an enemy may be a friend. Friends of friends might imply friendliness towards you. It...does...not.

14. Despite the past X thousand years of culture and civilization the truest measure of male friendship can only be measured during a fight or danger. [something incoherent in the margin, probably a bit of stomach acid from regurging at how bad this one is]

15. When no other kids were around there were always Parker and Michael. I suppose this shaped my future model for what a friend is. If so I do not seek a hive of approving faces but a loose handful of brothers.

26. Some people will never understand me and I will never understand them. There is nothing more profound and sad to me. Not everyone will agree I'm sure.

[page 2]

36. Dostoyevsky said we can learn a lot about a country by its prisons. Hospitals would suffice in a pinch.

37. Death is something everyone fears. What I fear is not dying but dying painfully and alone. If I just didn't wake up one day that would be fine for me. Every death makes at least one person sad. We should remember that there will always be one smiling face not at the funeral.

39. If there is one sort of corner I would not mind being backed into it would be formed by my brothers' shoulders.

40. Are all lofty goals the result of frustrated contentment found in food, company and song?

41. Revenge is a way of playing a proactive God. The danger is not in erasing all further chance of evil and hope of redemption. No, revenge is dangerous only to those who enjoy it.

42. There should be warnings in action movies for moments of gratuitous sex and violence. And there should be a timer for tactical bathroom breaks. Wouldn't that be great to just have "CHASE SCENE 00:04:37 til completion" show up. [this is the leading quote for a chapter that is basically a gratuitious car chase so I figured I'd serve fair warning to the readers]

43 Fraternities are gay. I don't mean that as derogatory to homosexuals; they just don't produce anything new. People have been drinking and screwing forever. Have they just given up on originality?

44. Destroying an artist solves nothing. Changing what inspires him is how differences are sculpted.

45. I wonder if my time in the west will really change anything
[page 3 missing]

This next page seems to be missing but I'll keep an eye out for it in the future. The rest of this notebook from what I can tell so far, is going to be transcribed offline. It deals with Aevansiana, also known as the sci-fi epic, and while I don't mind sharing I am not prepared to spoil most of the plot/character development and ruin all the mini climaxes at this point. I end the post with the very first quote from "Fair Coin" which is also taken from the fictional BoL.

Chapter 1: Summer’s End

I reached an open hand to the world and all I felt were raindrops.

-The Book of Life, College

Another mystery!!!!

So if you google 'awful opening lines' you'll probably come across the dark and stormy night contest in short order. It's basically a look at some hilariously awful first lines in novels that one can only hope, will never see the light of day.

I came across a file on my trusty archival Flash Drive called 'Awful Opening Lines.doc' and felt I had to repost them. I cannot for the life of me remember if I wrote these or if they are the work of some other demented genius.

I can go either way because of a few context clues and certain names that I use frequently as well as the sheer screaming randomness of the whole thing. Consider the first, it shrieks out Kurt Vonnegut to me, not that its that good or that powerful just has the weird tinge of reality whether you want it or not.

The last one is almost certainly mine or I picked it because of my roommate Matt and his similarly demented sense of humor. At any rate, enjoy, and if these are copyrighted by anyone else I will gladly attribute as I discover the originals (if in fact its not me)

**Update: I have googled most of these for choice phrases and so far no hits so its either original or REALLY obscure. The fifth one down is my favorite. And this is cheering because it means I probably wasn't up my own ass the entire time in college.

There is a boy. His name is Steve. Steve likes ducks. Ducks are birds. Birds are not mammals. Steve is a mammal. So is Jane. Jane is Steve’s wife. This makes Steve happy because he can ejaculate inside her and look forward to milk later.

Tinkling on the surface tension like so many tiny dices the sugar crystals danced like young ballerinas, clumsily but sweet, into the bitter coffee as so many of our young girls are drowned, in the hot blackness of society coffee. And I stirred my coffee, destroying the lost souls as a game-boy provided accompaniment with the tetris tune.

Our hero is a boy named Sid who likes a girl named Beth who rides a horse named Maggie that she got from her Mom who is a friend of Sid’s Mom who likes Beth’s dad because he is a plumber and therefore an expert pipe-layer named Dave who is a spy from the future who wants to save Sid from the dolphins, because Sid loves tuna fish.

On the fourth planet of the Daruka-Prime sector there is a young rebellion led by the charismatic yet impotent hybrid son of the Gorash invader captain, and a young earth woman, who seeks to free the planet for unregulated adult entertainment.

The stapler stared at me, it’s stainless steel jaw menacing my approach. I have seen this beast couple vast areas of white-land into vertical prisons. To understand this showdown you must know that I am Futyh, a soldier in the queens army, an ant on a mission.

My friend looked at me and said “I want to write a book about a guy writing a book about a guy writing a book about a guy writing a book and so on to infinity.” “Won’t that take up the whole universe?” “You’re missing the point, it’s about desperation and our reaction to immensity,” he said. “Oh,” I said.

Pounding my fists I could not contrive the worst thing in the world to say to her. Matt suggested I convince her that her dad hadn’t really died and then call her an idiot.

The bravest act I have ever done... to post this following story after gazing wordlessly at it with the lithographic tenure of hindsight. I wrote 'A problem of State' my freshman year of college. I wrote it because of a daydream I had while walking to the bus stop nearest the bell tower. At the time I remember poring over every word, every detail every little reference to World War I or greek mythology.

The file has not been modified since Y2K, I have moved it around and recopied it but I have made no changes to the original text. Although even pasting it here feels a bit like holding out my scroat and sliding it into a cage of blood thirtsy wolverines I must proceed. Eviscerate it if you must, this was my finest work at the time when I was aged 18 years old.

Thank the seven pagan gods of Kwanzaa that I finished college.

This is exactly the kind of crap I am dredging out of my fallible memory and flammable notebooks not because its so important to the world but because it serves as constant reminder that however bleak my writing career may seem, at least I have come a long long way from this shit.

PS: This was going to be the story containing the titular line for my first anthology of short stories labeled 'Arsenal of Opportunity'

A Problem of State

“Notice the boy walking down the street. He strides boldly though hiding the uncertainties intimately tied with humanity. Through fortune or fate he has endured the countless crossing paths that add and subtract to everyone. These intersections, which frame the thoughts and character of everyone both new and familiar to this planet, shaped an able-bodied warrior poet and delivered him to this particular occasion. His origin lies in Concord, though living had been discord from his first conscious breath.”

Thoughts such as this often kept my mind loaded on the long walks I was so fond of taking. But today was simply not ordinary, my destination was neither class nor study, but rather a journey to see the sweetest girl yet encountered throughout my lonely travels. Typically clad I strolled belt less and sock less in my relaxed olive-drab pants and complimentary black sweater. Just a few exposed inches of my dark red undershirt circled my neck, almost reaching the wavy lines of my shaggy brown hair. My blue travel bag was an appropriate substitute for my usual backpack.

A discerning observer might have noticed that the most expensive things on my person were my silver glasses and wristwatch; both were birthday presents, the watch was half as old as me. Prized above all these was my only real attempt at vanity. A carving of wood bearing the visage of Nyaminyami (Knee-ah me knee-ah me) hung round my neck on a black string bearing fifty-five round black beads. Black beads are the cheapest in Zimbabwe.

This figure was the embodiment of a legend that I found fascinating from the moment I heard it. River gods, one a female, the other a male had been separated by the construction of a hydroelectric dam only fifty years ago on the Zambezi River. Nyaminyami was the male that would one day destroy the dam in order to reunite with his love, tragic but inspiring. The beads fall like this, twenty-seven on the left, twenty-eight on the right. Fifty-five is my lucky number, two fives, the first is two higher than three, the second is two lower than seven. Clever I suppose.

I could only smile at my surroundings, the quiet path shielding me from the road, a hawk flying high above, and the tenacious grass growing through the cracks of broken bricks in the sidewalk. I stopped to take a picture of some black ants that appeared to be fighting red ants. Looking down was the sun, so oft unappreciated by my peers that she had lost me among the complacent many. In the face of such overwhelming beauty I could only pinch myself, usually between my second and third abdominal muscles. In doing so I nearly stepped on an arrogant crow as it picked at a dead squirrel. It should be noted that crows are the only species that I consciously think about attacking whenever one lands in range.

But my thoughts dwelt not on crows, nor the state of the day, but rather the current of love that propelled me onward. In my bag I carried something unique to human knowledge, a trump card to level the field against haughty love. A jewel, cut like no other, shaped and polished dearly for the tenure of our engagement. Such works I believe have sparked the question in writers since the beginning “How did I do that?” It would be tragic indeed if something unplanned for happened, seeing as how the world had but a single copy. As I walked behind the last building before the bus stop my steps brought me new images. Every click of my right heel for three paces reminded me of steps taken by those of my lineage.

The first was myself five years ago, sweaty and bruised as I walked off the mat, unusually calm though my first taste of combat had barely whetted my appetite. The other two were wholly familiar though neither had occurred in my lifetime. I have long heard the stories of my father in his youth, adventures and mishaps equaled only by those of my brothers and myself. One stuck out more than any mischievous act however. As a fledgling doctor he had once jumped over a bed into the room of a man having a cardiac arrest. Seeing him fly made my unspread wings bristle with pride. Finally, clad in the raiment of warriors’ white, there stood the true father of my father proud and stern on the steel bow of his destroyer. Wind rustled his hair in rhythm with the torn Japanese flag that lay at his feet. Tripping on a loose brick jerked my perceptions into focus and spellbound I caught a glimpse of my startled self nearly falling into a puddle.

I have had to constantly remind myself that glorifying the past is insulting to the present and only sets up the future for disappointment. My father had done countless other good things as his father surely did despite having his time cut prematurely short. Uncertain of the exact future but dwelling on living up to that standard of greatness always gave me hope. The first a fighter who died in peacetime, who bore a hellion that became a healer, who bore a doer of things both good and evil, not yet defined by trade.

Strangely enough, when I came back to reality I was looking not my usual skyward but earth inclined, and a pair of dirty tennis shoes occupied the focus of my vision. As they have a way of doing, this new element snapped my attention to full force momentarily. My gaze shifted from the curved insoles interrupting the rigid pattern of brick up to a man leaning against the final corner. Vaguely seeing his outstretched hand I reached for some spare to change to hand to the poor fellow. In doing so I noticed his cup looked amazingly like a small revolver. Instantly my eyes met with a sneering stranger staring coldly through a white mask with eyes of such a blue as to make Hitler weep with joy.

This stranger excited no fear, only wonder and amazement at his uncanny form. Fully my height and then some his teeth were bared and perfectly white. Smooth ebony skin showed around the edges of his concealed face. Something about him was certainly misplaced, but all I could focus on was the intensity of his stare. It was as if the Atlantic poured from his left eye, and the pacific his right. Many before me had been crushed into submission by those waters.

Lost, I realized his lips were moving and replied with “your eyes, they are…” but was cut short by a sharp blow to my temple. Not as powerful as the optical onslaught, I was nonetheless thrown off balance and apparently deaf as I dropped to a knee, only wanting another glance into those azure miracles.

I froze and looked up from my disadvantaged position, only to be disappointed by the glaring sun carelessly shielding his identity. He crouched into view and fire from my modest chestnuts linked me to his watery cobalts, a daunting match in soul and stare. His lips moved again, complying, I gave him my wallet. Never once did I betray the magnetic force between us.

Demanding my bag, silently as before, brought my objections with it. “You can have the bag, but not the book, or the card,” I stated. His twitching scowl seemed to object, so I explained, “The book is from the library, the card is for my girlfriend.” Just for confirmation of position he cracked my forehead with the butt of his pistol. Heaving with sick laughter, he violated my bag, shoving my extremely delicate camera aside to seize a large pink envelope, as the world went red around me.

Mercilessly he tore off the left edge of both card and carriage and read “For Nora, my one and only sunrise.” His laughter was followed up with the ugly rape of my poem. Once so cunningly wrought, the shattered crystalline perfection was reduced to cruel splinters of pain. My pride, now a howling banshee, bellowed through my skull, for what seemed like hours but lasted only seconds. His weirdly high voice wavered, threatening to break, as he gutted my loving words. With my every scrap of restraint I suppressed the overwhelming urge to try and kill the giggling rapist and took the opportunity to think about my situation.

This idiot was robbing me, a fighter growing deadlier, in broad daylight only a few feet away from one of the busiest streets in Raleigh. Now I was a kettle whistling, “Those words are meant for softer eyes you heathen…” I started, only to be cut down a third time by the cold and unforgiving steel of his weapon. Blood surged through my every eager vessel and as I fought back tears, my anger began to dissolve.

Take a lump of coal, or graphite, any carbon will do, and squeeze it. Keep this up and raise the temperature. Black gunk will resolve and clarify almost miraculously into a new crystal structure. The result is the hardest substance known, sparkling and impervious, a diamond. Such is the method of which I was forged into action. Still needing help, I called for it.

My father’s voice has a clear and knowing quality, something akin to how Jesus must have sounded to his followers when explaining the will of God. Memory alone has never been able to accurately reproduce it, and yet it was clear as Spanish air in springtime. “Is something the matter son?” he asked me, as if oblivious. Answering him with equal sarcasm I told him “I’m being robbed by a snickering buffoon at gunpoint, what could be wrong?” My moronic assailant still searched my bag clumsily with his free hand, entirely amused. The voice seemed to frown and asked “Son, did I teach you nothing about fighting over all these years?”

Every tactic I had ever seen, thought of and used came to me; sifting through them I found nothing to increase my advantage, then my thoughts turned to peace. Clarity descended from heaven, manifested by a three word phrase more powerful than even ‘I love you,’ “Honor, Duty, Fun” I whispered. At this revelation, once a joke but now my motto, he smiled “So now you see, that you are not meeting any of these, while your love and pride are being dashed to pieces. This point in your life, the present is the most important. Everything you have done and could accomplish mean nothing if you let yourself be defeated now. Stifle your angry blood and realize something greater beats in your chest than in his. THINK boy, the answer to your every problem lies in the palm of your hand,” he whispered and began to fade. “Thank you dad” I spit through clenched teeth and he was gone. Turning point.

My thoughts, now a distant thunderstorm, fell upon the object of my aspiration. A single rampart of vertical bricks, freestanding prisms of tempered clay, bordered the red horizontal mosaic on which I lay. Resting under my calloused palm was one such block. I wrapped my strong fingers around the abrupt edges, gripping tight to form a composite fist of flesh and earth. Now a raging tempest, I had become what is insisted to be impossible, a force against which nothing can stand. Instinct brought my eyes to his and a familiar hand disenchanted my would- be robber of the notion that he was in control. The same hand moved from his bleeding head to shatter his hand now swinging the gun towards me. I relished rising from my trenches and breaking the stalemate that would hold no man in bondage again.

Now the world slowed down for me to watch. The now-halved broken rock fell from my hand away and down, following the masked wretch’s descent perfectly. His useless gun dropped and landed with a soft sparking pop that flung the still-smoking barrel into the uncrushed portion his face. Silence carried him slowly to the ground where he, like all objects in the real world eventually, came to rest. Anteaus himself would have been slow to rise from such a blow. Resisting the natural tendency to fall into low-energy states I stood tall, as I had after every battle won.

Brushing myself off, I let dust, dirt, and little crumbs of brick slip and fall to earth, satisfying gravity temporarily. Dazed as I was, I disarmed the other further. Ripping off his mask and hat only revealed the ebony man to be an Aryan youth, his face was painted only around the eyes and mouth of his mask, not even reaching the roots of his bright blonde hair. The shamelessness of the intended crime now sunk into realization and I nearly choked on it. Sickened to the point of weakness I could only look at the shards of brick next to my victim, his eyes now locked away and twitching. I picked up the broken pieces and set them back in place, knowing his blood would cement them together. Achingly I crawled to my bag, fixed my possessions and moved on.

As I went I wiggled every brick making sure each was loose and ready. Now the sidewalk was an arsenal of opportunity, free for anyone who needed it. Resolving to call my dad I heard, sirens pass to attend some reported crime but not my own. The only evidence of my ordeal was some disfigurement and the wrecked envelope holding the dirty yet intact gem.

Looking over the damage done I tucked the card back into it’s rightful place ignoring my broken camera. Seeing the cracks in both glass and paper wrecked my control and tears fell like meteors through the dambursts.

Written and swooped by Seth Keipper

Copyright Seth Keipper 2000

A bit of fun from Technical writing

This was from the worst semester of my college career because I lost Natalie and then got Mono and life took a really sick ass turn towards the pavement at hypersonic speeds. I was too weak to really even tug at the stick.

But one fun part was doing a project to make a short instruction manual for the use of an everyday object and for this I chose "The Blowpop" Click on the pic for full effect.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Blog resurrection, Summation and Thoughts

Wow, what an awfully comprehensive bunch of bullshit that was. I don't mean the content itself I just mean how long it took just to repost all that stuff into manageable chunks. I thought about doing it post by post but that would have taken...well more time than I cared to spend on it.

As I look back I smiled and frowned and even cringed at a few of the predictions and observations. What stuck with me the most was how hard I fell out of the writing habit and how much joy it brought me. Certainly my tastes and hopefully my style has changed a good bit since then but the novelty has worn off I fear.

I originally wrote Brain Hack and Riot Party about 4-5 years ago now and in one post hoped to have one or both finished by the end of 2004. At the time I did consider them both finished but my understanding of the world and tech in general has certainly matured.

I still intend to finish these two stories and the unifying third part called 'Founder Effect' which ties the stories together before 2009 rolls around on my calendar. The difference this time is that I intend to self publish this work via wordclay or something similar.

The full text will also be posted, naturally, at our trusty old techblog BruteFinesse.

Blog resurrection, Part XII (Final)

Final entry, summation to follow after I let this sink in for a bit.


I am to friggin tired to think about that anymore for now though. It gets a day of rest before I tear it up and put it back together, and then...PERFECTION!!

posted by Seth # 8:38 PM

The first third of Evansiana is done. That is just around 60 pages of pure, pencil written down home epic goodness. By my estimation that is just about 42,000 words. Most of this which was written from the beginning of my day at...well, 5pm, but hell i was pretty F'in productive in the final count. 20,000 words in a day is like fucking monstrous, hell it took me 2 weeks to write and edit Firefly Flore and that's just a short story.

Editing is the fun part though, writing makes editing look easy. Maybe its not so much easy as it requires more whimsy and less fucking scrunchy detail. For some perspective I probably have 30,000 words written for Fair Coin and until now thought I was doing well. I guess its a good idea that I put it on the shelf so I didn't wind up hating myself for ever dreaming up Maynard Cassidy and Evin Mira's hijinx with Sig Segovia and that fruit cake Gabriel Carpenter.

No, now its all fun in the Legion [sun] on Aederon with Aevan and Sevar Steelcraft. And now, it's Ikaruga time. Later today I will be posting my latest short story, Firefly Flore, just because I am sick of emailing it out to people all the friggin' time. If its not here now, check back later today.

posted by Seth # 5:50 AM

First a quick update on the new project, Evansiana. I have since coming home written 33 hand-written pages of the new epic. That's about 22,000 words after being edited. It takes place on a new planet not entirely suited to life for men. Certain details about the origins aren't all coherent yet, but it is a world with 40 hour days and 412 day years. The temperature is hotter than earth and it is the equator rather than the poles that are least hospitable to life.

The Protagonist Aevan Steelcraft is a blacksmith's son who is taken to the capital of Aederon Island for his education. There, with his brother Sevar and a noble Tomz Bratler he learns about the world he lives in. Pretty soon he'll be leaving the island in exile.

Perhaps the most fun part of the new world, possibly called Nautus, is the creation myth. See the whole idea is that their God Deas created the universe. Same ol' good vs evil battle played out when his favorite, Legion, rebelled. The twist is that evil won out. Now in control of the universe Legion could do whatever he wanted. This included slaying all the angels of Deas and taking control of the people of Nautus. Only problem is the whole God bit doesn't sit well with Legion. People started to unite against him and that pissed him off. So he created two lesser God's, unaware of his existence, for the people to stand with. Now he just kicks back and watches the fun stuff go on. Kooky eh?

But that's not the point of this blog. I flipped on Tivo for a moment and 'Miracle on 34th Street' was playing. I watched for a few minutes about the trial of santa claus. It was interesting. One line Santa's lawyer said caught my attention.

During the closing arguments he said "...I ask the court which is worse, a lie that draws a smile or a truth that brings a tear?" Now you know I would say that the lie is worse. But I do want and think people deserve to be happy.

So I tried to reconcile this with my own beliefs and decided it could have been phrased much better. Perhaps the truth is best but certain details are not always necessary and can have bad consequences.

Consider this scenario: A person finds out their boy/girlfriend has cheated on them. They know that their partner was untrue. But how much of the actual infidelity should they learn about. If your girl/boyfriend told you, tearfully, that they had been unfaithful but wanted you to forgive them could you do it?

I suppose I might not be able to, but it would of course depend on the girl, the situation and all that.

Now consider you have a video tape or something that shows your partner through the entire act in gruesome detail. Every moan, every scream and every motion would probably stick with you much more clearly than if you had just heard 'i slept with bob that night we had a fight.' Seeing Bob's face as he came inside your supposed lover would probably send you into a homicidal rage. It wouldn't surprise me if that situation had the same effect on me.

It all goes back to our imperfect conception of the world at large. Anyone who has been to a library knows that you cannot possibly see the entire world accurately and comprehensibly. There is just to much data! Chemical formulas for what makes up your body alone could occupy a scholar for years, let alone everything else on the planet. Understanding completely cannot happen, but we can get a good idea of the general stuff.

If the world was a tree we might not need to measure the exact specifications of every twig and leaf to know that we are looking at a tree. Detail would be needed to see just what kind of tree it is, but microscoping a single leaf would not give you any greater insight into the tree at large. This may be an imperfect analogy, but the intent is true. Over analyzing one area of life and trying to relate it to all others doesn't always work.

We do this though, every one of us. Our filters to the world are usually either what has hurt us most or what we hold dearest. I look at life with the intent of putting stories together then retelling what i have learned to make things more real and interesting because that's what i love. Jodie always sees relationships more bleakly than everyone else. Mike, is a horny bastard. That's life, can you dig it.

posted by Seth # 3:00 PM

Riot Party is up to page 32!

Now I figure it was time for a good rambling pseudo philosophical post in honor of me leaving Raleigh tomorrow. So here goes!

Ok, if you'll first make a note of the title of my blog you'll notice that it's 'Searching for Subtlety' and the little intro thing has nothing to do with either. It's actually just something I kind of made up on the fly as i was getting the blog out of idea and into actuality stage. But, in the spirit of noticing things, as I do, I am going to comment on some subtlety i picked up tonight.

If you haven't seen Van Wilder, you should, but I am going to ruin some plot elements. I hope niether of my fans will take offense at this. Basically, hilarity aside, the thing that caught my attention was Tara Reid's relationship with the Delta Iota Kappa (DIK) frat guy.

She's the typical super hot/skanky/anorexic female dive and he is the absurdly anal bad boyfriend. Now from the get go you can see that it's the relationship bound to fail and she'll end up with witty and cheerful Van. Yea for unpredictable plot progression.

The problem with this is that girls in real life do not often leave the dick head for the super cool guy. No no, they tend to either stay with an asshole or leave one asshole for less of an asshole. The cynical comment (and one made infallibly by the 'nice guys' out there) is that girls have terrible taste or judgement. You might go so far as to say that they are blessed/cursed to make decisions that are uniformly good at making bad things happen in their life. I don't know either way, but I may have nailed it.

Some sort of reaction, be it bad or violent or just dangerous, is what girls seem to want. Now I am not the first to say it, but something occurred to me the other day and yes I am the verge of a possible sexist and horrible comment. Perhaps rendering the matter slightly more lucidly.

If you ever read a romance novel you know they have exactly two varieties. One is the 'meet some great guy who appears to be bad but isn't and we eventually fall in love' kind. Or there is the 'soem guy ends up raping the girl and then making things all better' kind.

Now you can disguise a rape fantasy in all sorts of makeup and cultural devices...and don't worry I am not going off on a mother culture kick...but it does not change the fundamental urge. People want something or someone that does not go towards the happy goal of making things better for everyone, just for themselves. The perfect guy can only exist in a shitty ass world.

I am sure it goes for girls, though most guys settle for sex with a hot slut. So much for nobility or true love.

Another thing I was thinking about was something an escort said last night. It was a black girl from Lee to Wood hall. Halfway there, on the boardwalk behind the tennis courts she asked how Jimmy and I got started with student patrol. I proceeded to tell her my tale:

At the beginning of sophomore year a friend of mine had just gone for her freshman year at a small college in Florida. It was Hailey P. going to FC to worship JC and not get VD. So one day she and a guy friend got robbed on their way back to campus. Not only were they robbed but the guy got his head smashed by a big scary dude with a pump shotgun. Needless to say she was pretty damned scared and the guy had to go to the hospital.

Then a few weeks later 9-11 happened.

Though there is little residual emotional attachment to either event, at the time I was fairly traumatized. I explained that I was rethinking my whole life in college and all that. And that I thought I could make a difference here in my local little area and however small it would be better if I did than not.

Jimmy said he needed the money.

It was a nice story, mine took about 100 yards, jimmy told his in three steps. Speaking of work, the girl brought up wanting to get a job and proceeded to crack some jokes about doing something useful. Yes I initially wanted to bitch slap her, but that's kind of anti-thetical to the point of my whole story. Looking back its funny because of the current situation with work and how we're more a taxi service cum fear-tampon than anything else.

I don't think that's necessarily such a bad thing. The point is I really do want to do some good and leave this world better off than had I never existed in the first place. Maybe 23465 have died by some inadvertant consequence of crossing paths with me. Maybe 1 person didn't die that might have, it's hard to keep track of things like this but i'll be sure to ask God if I ever see him.

Now I really wonder if other people do, or if they are just here to make the best of it and fuck other people if I can be a little more comfortable. It's kind of a shitty thought, but not as much as 'what if so am I and I just don't realize it.' Granted I would like to make money, I have little aspirations of becoming rich and or famous. Hell, I would be fine with just kickin' around and writing for the rest of my life at about a middle class level. Even that seems unlikely sometimes, but we'll just have to see and maybe, just maybe, I'll get lucky.

Until then, we'll just have to see how it goes. I hope to have Riot Party and the second part of the first story 'Brain Hack' completed by the new year.

Ting a ling!

posted by Seth # 11:59 PM


Well on top of exams and all that fun crap I managed to get in 27 hours of work and bust out 15 more pages of my latest story "Riot Party." It is the newest and first story in a long line of successive works which will comprise the new book project. Fair coin has been put on hold for a while and I just needed to get away from it and focus on something else, something grander.

I suppose it may seem strange that writing an epic would be more difficult than a simple novel about a guy struggling through college with what troubles and trials life throws his way. One thing I have learned is that details are much harder to fit together in a small scale than on a grandiose one. Perhaps soon I will have the time or patience to write on a smaller scale. Maybe I need to get something off my chest first.

Progress so far has been 25 handwritten pages which generally translates into 17,000 words. And I am not even done with the first part of the first story. Needless to say it is a project of epic scope in simple length, but it aims to start on earth and end at the edge of our galactic super cluster. I plan to spend about 200,000 words getting there. For comparison's sake you might look at my blog progress thus far and see that it is about 100 single spaced pages in microsoft word. That's a lot of fucking writing and yet it is only a mere 50,000 words.

I am basing that on typical short story length, the blog tends to be nearly dialogue free so it may be upwards of 60,000 actually. And its only 4 months old!

Now I could sit here and kiss my own ass all day, but that's not really productive and so i'll not. What is productive lately is the psychotic ease with which this story flows. First I'll detail some of the plot elements then explain their relevance and the fluidity of its progression.

Riot Party takes place in 2007.

The protagonist is a medium/minor character from Fair Coin. Thomas Mason begins his role as an indecisive milksop attached by friendship to the antagonist's hip. Anyone who knows the plot knows that things don't end up well for either Thomas or Shane (antagonist). But Protagonist M, no relation to Hiro, befriends him and passes on several lessons which harder the character and resolve of Mr. Mason.

In contrast to the edge that Thomas is left with, Riot party begins with him failing out of a psychology class his senior year. Just one class seperates him from graduation, but it turns out he is in kind of a tight spot. See, he fails out of a summer class and can't afford to go back to school for the next semester, so its going to be a major pain in the ass. A former teacher offers to put in a good word on his behalf if Thomas will participate in a huge (psych) experiment the following day.

The point of all this is to set up his involvement with the development of the rudiments of what will eventually be called the "Free Nation." Basically a bunch of psychologists, geneticists, historians and computer geeks have decided that things aren't going to change if we just keep trying to tack technology onto people. It is profitable but not always right. Using their combined wealth and a few interesting sources of income they begin introducing a paradigm shift not on paper but in the real and practical world.

Slavery and shitty working conditions are a plague of the entire world. Maybe there isn't anything we can do about it, so why not at least make these shitty conditions less shitty. And no they aren't going around making sure safety regulations and stuff is followed, they are actually using drugs and technology to make people LOVE their shitty jobs. Not all of the technical details are important and I can't reveal everything now can I?

The point is, they are going out and fucking DOING something. Moreover, its something important that a few thousand years of religion, philosophy and law have not managed to change. Better, things later get switched to where people are convinced of the benefit of melding cooperation with constructive competition. Much different than American sports and performance standards, there is attention paid to everyone who is good, not just who is the absolute best at everything.

Better sharing and cooperation allows everyone that the builders of Free Nation forefathers makes contact with to do better and power inside the Free Nation grows. Its an attractive concept, to think that a perfect world is not likely possible with the current standards and rules of human life. What makes this attractive is the idea that the rules themselves can be changed so that people are better suited to life in a civil culture. As I am sure you can imagine there are plenty of problems that can and will arise from this. That's not the point, the point is that its a positive and necessary step in human progress.

I am getting tired, but this idea has been something of a lifelong dream. Maybe a secret ambition is a better way to describe it. Not only to come up with a good idea but to HELP out people in general. Who knows, maybe it'll get noticed and some people will listen (or read) and if nothing else it will be interesting. But then again, and this may be like hoping on a lottery ticket, maybe others will agree with me and we might make something new happen. If you look at history you'll find that human life is monotonously plagued with so many similar problems and all that really changes are the appearence and proportion of aristocracy, tyrants, warlords, scapegoats, plagues and wars.

Nothing would please me more than to radically alter the course of human history in unthought of ways. I don't want to steer humanity down a bend in some frantic mindless course into the future. I want to throw the first stone of a dam that will allow ideas and experience to flow in all directions and to constantly deepen.

I promise I will never be an L. Ron Hubbard though.

posted by Seth # 9:52 PM


This is another writing post, many inspirational things went into it. For example, the ten most recently published blog's thing on the blogger home page. Every time I post, I take a look to see what others are doing with their free webspace and almost every time I am disappointed.

Today was no exception.

So, in the spirit of self-centered blog-happy ranty things here goes. I begin with a quote, yes its of my own design, but its relevant so deal with it or piss off.

Evolution does not grant purpose, only possibilities.

Now I am pretty sure I have commented on this before (but even I don't feel like digging through my many many pages to find out) and here it is again.

I was trying to think of a good way to anti-paradigm my future projections. Its hard because you can't take break throughs into account. Or perhaps a better way of saying this, and I stole this analogy from 'Angle of Attack', is that you can't see around a bend in the evolutionary road. It makes sense though, who would have thought of Computers just as electricity was being invented!?

No one sane that's for sure.

And then you look at our universe and think think THINK of all the possibilities. I promise if you have any sort of imagination you could do that forever, but being human i'm sure you'll find something better to do instead. But, what if the paradigm of not seeing break throughs in and of itself is one that will someday change.

Don't bother me with 'but its impossible' shit either. I have no idea how it could happen, but maybe we'll meet some aliens with all the answers and steal their technology and be happy with that. Except I don't think that would work at all.

Consider life that evolved on a different planet. Zero similarity in genetic history would make trying to splice some sort of happy adaptation onto ours would be like trying to put an aircraft carrier's flight deck on a kontiki raft. Or on a humpback whale if you feel more comfortable with that.

Certain things change, but don't really fundamentally. Society, so far as I can tell, has changed a good bit over the past 3,000 years. But human nature is still human nature and the fundamentals of that have not changed at all. Alter that, and you can alter the course of human history for good or ill. 1984 route could turn people into shitty slaves and that would suck. Or, you could do something more fun and weird. Now here comes a big analogy to better illustrate the ramble that this paragraph would inevitably turn into.

Think of single celled life. Its a bunch of molecules working together to get food, avoid getting eaten and multiplying. Not much the individual chemicals can do themselves, not purposefully anyways, but as a whole they get to eat and fuck. Now, extend that a few hundred million years and you come to multicellular life. Again, the life form does well as a bunch, but each individual cell just makes a function and gets fed only if the whole shebang is working out.

This can be a good thing. Multicellular life is a happy way to get bigger, move faster and do more with the environment. But each cell itself benefits most if the whole organism works together. Swing back to people and the planet and reason something with me.

Wouldn't we all be better off if everyone did their damned jobs and didn't try to rob/kill/rape the other cells? I think its pretty easy to agree with.

But people aren't cells, people are people. A sad fact of the world is that the individual takes precedent over the group pretty much every time. Or maybe its a small cell cluster over the big super clusters. Inevitably destructive competition turns out in the same form over and over through the span of human history. What you get is aristocrats and despots having much more than everyone else and most people being unhappy about that.

Now, that one fact has remained outside the influence of all other technology. No one and nothing has entirely changed the rules of existence. If we could do that, we could change the world. Turns out though its pretty fucking hard to rearranged the world like that. But there are ways, oh yes, and we can use them.

Consider WWII Germany, you know, the Nazi's and all that. Before the start of WWII there was the Great War (aka WWI) this left the place in pretty much ruins and everyone was poor and hungry. Hitler drew his power by gaining support of the people. This support came from promises to free, feed and restore the pride of his people. In other words, he used their dependence on the basics of life to gain much power and do much evil. What if he couldn't do that? Things would be very different, but they would have had to be very different in the first place also.

A long time ago, it was about a year, I thought about writing a short story based entirely around a single phrase and situation. I wanted there to be a guy in a bar in some interstellar future to over hear some girl being really loud and him saying "goddam low gravity yokels need to learn how to speak in real air." It never got written. But before I scrapped it I tried to expand the idea.

One thing that occurred to me is each and every planet will have different conditions from earth. Assuming we terraform the place and don't ahve to deal with other life there will still be different temperature, gravity, day/night cycles and all that. It would also be better to fix people to live there and not try and force a 36.3 hour day on someone with a 24 hr circadian rhythm. But also, lungs for lower and higher air concentrations, better joints and muscles for the conditions would be better. And then something hit me.

What about the fucking Ocean!?

Its a whole new world and its only a 4 hour drive from me! What the hell have we been doing on land all these years, the ocean is where really fun stuff can happen. And with a few million man hours of genetic research we can turn land people into sea people. Sea people would probably not be mammals per se, but they would be free of constraints of life on land. Think of how much open space there is, and what're a few sharks compared to that kind of freedom!? It goes so much further than that though.

Sea people would be free of life on land, but what about other people. To a degree yes, but as long as you need to eat and sleep you can still be bought, sold and fucked around with. What if we could change that?

Easier said than done, I know. But there are ways to lessen and distance the kind of control people can put on us. Food, water and heat are basic necessities that everyone needs. If its possible for everyone to get these, it becomes harder to force people into what they know is wrong.

Robots could help, but they are ultimately vulnerable to the damnable EMP and entropy of course. Nano machines could probably smack disease around, but not generate food. But again, genetic engineering could take care of that. Coupled with nano bots (probably needing some sort of computer control) we could be almost free of agriculture.

Don't get to skeptical just yet, just listen. The most common organic substance in the whole world is cellulose. It is in damned near everything made of plant. Know something else, people can't digest it! We lack a crucial enzyme or enzymes to do this. That's why fiber makes your poopie bigger.

Cellulose is fundamentally just a big F'in chain of glucose molecules though. Add this to human genes (cellulose tolerant people) and you can eat anything on the whole damned planet. You could live off of WOOD for god's sake. Think how long you could survive off of a single pine tree. That makes you unstarvable, because as long as anything made of non toxic plant material is around then you have food!

Now this is a pretty extreme circumstance and wood stew is probably not that tasty. But it could help you survive if necessary. For a more day to day basis we could use robots. Robots cost nothing and eventually will be able to do pretty much any goddam thing people can do. So, as long as robots aren't controlled by malevolent governments then we would be ok. The trick is, with that much surplus stuff (think how cheap crap would be if there were almost zero labor costs) everyone would be taken care of. There would be nothing left to do but make stuff up and hang out, it'd be grand.

I want to write more, but I am damn tired. This will be revisited both here and as my latest project about the Free Nation.

posted by Seth # 11:23 PM


The sunrise was interesting today. Little streams of photons cascading through the early morning as dew turned to mist and all that I can see to the south was veiled in a cloud of vapored water. Night and day are not so different as people think. Insomnia has made clear something that I have known for a while. We live on a strange planet with many strange and wonderful things.

Wade and I discussed the notion of simple beauty. We agreed that people would not be so 'advanced and interesting' if we didn't live on an interesting planet. Earth is a pretty spectacular place if you know where to look. We are lucky enough to live in a part of town free enough of light pollution to afford us a decent view of the sparkling stars. Just seeing Orion on a nightly basis is a charming part of my every little walk around our block.

Stars are quite humbling to the keen observer. They should serve us as a constant reminder that we are not only very very small, but that we are part of something very very big. True enough the rest of the universe is so vast it makes our planet, our sun and indeed our galaxy seem insignificant. But life alone makes Earth the most interesting place for many many light years.

I have tried to capture some of this in my writing. Creating an entirely new world was not a very difficult task. All I had to do was draw some lines on a piece of paper and let my hand wander into rough shapes that took form as islands, oceans, fjords and rivers. Mountains come in ranges, the water is just blue squiggles. Geography is easy, life was only slightly harder.

The thread of human existence is a gossamer strand of protein roughly 3 billion base pairs long. DNA holds every piece of life and every unique individual together. Though vastly differing in size, shape, diet, mode of transportation and behavior all life follows certain trends owing to our planet's unique and violent history. Two eyes, bilateral symmetry around a vertebrae, bone structure that is the same in nearly every creature, dental formulae that are common in many ways to every mammal and 5 common senses bind every land dwelling creature.

On Metis, these trends are carried only by the people that live there. Creatures that swim on the ocean and amble about on land would not be recognizable to any biologist that had lived on earth his or her whole life. Plant and animal still keep the same balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide (or we could not survive there) but much else is wholly different. Brains do not rest atop heads for example. Heads are a rather earthly thing. Creatures of Metis possess two spinal structures and house their brains in the center of their bodies. Three hearts, six limbs, no hair or feathers, a different range of visual perception, keener hearing (owing to the slightly less gravity) and entirely different olfactory organs are just a few. But even coming up with a crude evolutionary history is not difficult compared to crafting something so subtle as culture.

Transplanted by fate in this new and strange land the mena are tied to their forbears by language and the previous knowledge of technology that cannot be maintained and fades into legend. Relics exist, make no mistake, but all the same problems of war, death, disease, poverty, predjudice and lust have are the true legacy of human life. It's like starting over in a way. Remember how much of our present depends on the infrastructure we have built on for thousands of years. Every problem that we have 'solved' can go away and people turn right back into barbarians if you just give them a chance.

There is a lesson in that.

But people do learn and they do rebuild on what their previous ancestors had done. With no earth history apart from a few stories, new religions, new ideas and new ways of life form and thrive. Culture is so complicated because it pervades our every waking thought. I think in english, the language i speak aloud is also the filter through which i see the world. Trying to imagine the thoughts and consequences of not just one but an entire world of people is sure to give anyone a headache.

There is a lesson in that also.

In fact the lesson is pretty simple and holds true for both. Culture is the ULTIMATE subtle and powerful survival tool. It allows us to set up a positive feedback cycle in which every generation, providing good records are kept and bad ideas weeded out, can become more advanced than the last. While this holds true for technical aspects of life, the fundamentals rarely change. But how could they, every person has to learn how to live on their own. No one skips out on puberty or morality, they just can't. It's part of growing up and everyone that is a blank slate can be writ upon in certain ways that do not change.

People have needs, needs are their dependencies from the world around them. Imperatives drive these needs with a mighty engine of emotion. Some people cannot function and their engine breaks down. Others harness the power of other's emotion and that leads to what we call 'government.' It is important to remember this should you ever read my epic.

Speaking of the epic, i'm up to 84 pages now. Aevan is on the brink of his journey into the wild world. Now my task becomes most difficult because I have to create not just one but a dozen cultures that all unique to Metis (as species are) but which are tied into the fundamentals of human culture (like life in general). As he goes out and discovers his place in the world Aevan must also uncover some of these fundamentals. They are important because they do not belong to the planet Metis, they belong to somewhere else. Whether the word Earth will ever reach his ears I do not know. But the sense of hopeless distance from a place where at least human and animal life are in synch is crucial to both the story, and to the lesson I hope to convey.

Now, to bed I must go.

posted by Seth # 5:00 AM

Blog resurrection, Part XI

Cripes, this starts out dry and weird but gets mean and juicy there at the end.

This is probably my longest post yet, its my BIO-PSYCH paper. Since Mike said I didn't have anything worthwhile to write about. Well, no longer!

Character and Effectiveness of Bupropion as an
Atypical Antidepressant and Anti Smoking Aid

I: Introduction
America is a country riddled with health problems. 9.9 million people suffer from Major Depressive Disorder and another 2.3 million with Bipolar disorder. These figures total to about 6.2 percent of the entire population (numbers count, 2003). In addition the number of smokers is an incredibly high figure. In 2001, there were an estimated 46.2 million current smokers above the age of 18. This same group consumed 425 billion cigarettes (2,037 per capita of the population above the age of 18.) An average of about 440,000 people died per year on between 1995-1999 due to smoking related causes(trends in tobacco use, 2002). This is a fairly chilling reminder of how serious a threat smoking currently is. Both smoking and depression share a common treatment called Bupropion Hydrochloride. Marketed as Zyban and Wellbutrin (also as generic Bupropion) this drug offers hope for treatment of depression and nicotine addiction without the serious side effects associated with typical anti-depressants.
IIa: Biology Aspects
Traditional anti-depressants have an understood target and an understood effect on particular neurotransmitters. Tricyclic anti-depressants prevent the reuptake of serotonin and catecholamines. SSRI’s only target serotonin and MAOI’s prevent the metabolization of serotonin and catecholamines in the pre-synaptic terminal. Bupropion acts as an agonist towards dopamine and norepinephrine (Daviss et al, 2001).
Not only is the unusual (hence, atypical) chemical result surprisingly effective it is also very low in serious side effects. Unlike more traditional medication, the side effects are generally mild and rarely preclude a stoppage of treatment (Buckley, 2003). It should be noted that in some people bupropion increased the likelihood of seizures. Also, in rare cases, it can worsen facial tics. (Daviss et al, 2001) This makes it an attractive alternative to the sexual side effects, problematic to SSRI’s, for treatment of depression. There are no other medications currently offered in pill form for smoking cessation or generalized nicotine addiction on the market.
How does a single chemical do all that? Unfortunately no one knows exactly how bupropion utilizes to produce the effects on dopamine and norepinephrine. A great deal is understood about the chemical itself however.
IIb: Chemistry
Bupropion’s chemical name is (+)-1-(3-chlorophenyl)-2-[(1,1-dimethylethyl)amino]-1-propanone hydrochloride (C13H18ClNO HCl). Its molecular weight is 276.2. The drug is a white powder usually dosed at 100mg, 150mg or 200mg per pill. The structure of the bupropion molecule, which resembles phenylethylamines, is illustrated in figure 1.

Figure 1
The Structure of Bupropion

Bupropion is chemically distant from its predecessors. Serotonin, for example, is commonly understood to have a great effect on mood. Lack of normal serotonin levels is associated with both depression and trouble sleeping. Production of tryptophan is the limiting factor in serotonin production but normal amounts are made more effective by SSRI’s. (Evans et al, 2002) This would seem to indicate a causal relationship, but it is merely a very strong correlation. Bupropion has no effect on the production, absorption or metabolization of serotonin and still produces positive effects similar to SSRI’s.
So knowing what we do about the chemical itself and its effects implies, as with all drugs, that there is an empirical process occurring which produces these effects. Knowledge of the exact nature of this process is not fully understood but there is a good deal of information on a general level.
IIIa: Known Effects in Animals
Before human testing is even considered animals are subjected to variously cruel and necessary treatment to determine safety and effectiveness. One such measure, the forced swimming test, pitted bupropion against fluoxetine (generic Prozac, an SSRI) and the selective neurokinin-1 (NK1) receptor antagonist GR 205171. Each rat was given a drug then placed in the FS tank. The dependent variable was immobility time during the last few minutes of the time period(cite). Logically a despairing animal will give up and drown, whereas a normal or less depressed rat will continue to swim for a longer time. Results showed that noradrenaline and dopamine levels were increased in both bupropion and fluoxetine. Specifically bupropion enhanced the catecholamines. GR 205171 had no measurable effect on relevant neurotransmitters but all drugs showed a decrease in immobility time. It should be noted that the samples were quite small (n=4-5) and further studies in this matter have not been published.
IIIb: Known Effects in Humans
Another study employed positron emission tomography to better understand the activity of bupropion and its effect on the human dopamine transporter. Previous data has shown that in many previous animal studies there was indeed activity at the dopamine transporter. Metabolites of bupropion (hydroxybupropion and threohydrobupropion) have been shown to inhibit dopamine reuptake in rats and mice. Other effects studied included a reduction in brain stem dopamine neurons in rats; and an increase of dopamine concentration in the nucleus accumbens and striatum also in rats. One problem with the animal studies was the differential in dose and therapeutic effect between animals and people. The amount needed to create therapeutic effects is much less in people than other species tested. In order to be made more fully aware how, and perhaps why, dopamine transporters were affected, the study would center only on visible increases in brain activity.
Using a radioligand dye to illuminate the binding activity in six healthy male subjects yielded data about the concentration of inhibitory effects on striatal dopamine transporters. All subjects were not diagnosed with any disease nor under the influence of any drug which might have skewed normal dopamine levels and activity. Interestingly enough bupropion was shown to occupy dopamine transporters in above normal levels in this region. Another type of drug that occupies the same transporters is cocaine. However, bupropion occupies only an approximate 25% whereas cocaine is shown to affect 65-75%. The time extent is also much different, cocaine being relatively short-lived and bupropion sustaining its activity for at least 24 hours.
This data indicates the nature and extent of the drugs effect. It also strengthens the view that there is little potential for abuse(cited). Low addiction is an appealing and reassuring quality for a drug that treats both depression and smoking. Nicotine is of course highly addictive and many people with depressive and mood disorders have concomitant drug issues as well. Potential users should be comforted that this will not result in an addiction substitution. Heroine, arguably the most addictive drug, got its name because it was supposed to wean people off of morphine addiction. There should not be a repeat with bupropion hydrochloride.
Insight into the mystery of this atypical anti-depressant was suggested by the authors of this study. They believe that low synaptic concentrations of dopamine cause down regulation of the dopamine transporter. If true, dopamine binding drugs may derive their value by clearing extracellular dopamine and increasing synaptic concentrations of it(cite1). Major depressives have a lower dopamine binding potential than healthy subjects, so these data sound appealing. However, this is probably not the whole story. Bupropion is also a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. At standard doses the total norepinephrine turnover was reduced. That there was no decline of norepinephrine in the plasma implies it was not just a simple reduction. The unique properties of the drug have still not been unraveled entirely.
IV Effectiveness
Just how effective is bupropion? The following section will focus on the depression aspect and subsequently smoking cessation will be addressed.
IVa: Bupropion for Treating Depression.
The need for successful anti-depressant drugs with low levels of negative side effects becomes more apparent every year. More cases are being reported and alarmingly the mean age of people with depressive disorders is decreasing. Considerations for why this is happening aside, the need for some kind of fix (until society can be rewired to better prevent and diagnose such problems) is critical.
One problem is that the reasons for depression are not entirely understood. Previous drugs might have implied it was a simple case of low serotonin levels or overly active reuptake mechanisms. This cannot be entirely true. Symptoms of depression manifest themselves in many different ways. Obviously there are both environmental and genetic factors to consider. The number of depressed people could be far greater than the population already diagnosed. No single physiological mechanism, that we know of, has been found in depressed people and not in normal people. Unlike other diseases, there is no bacteria or virus to track down and eliminate. Depression is dangerous because it is both widespread and poorly understood. Treatment however can help, whether we understand entirely or not.
A study conducted in 2002 looked at the therapeutic effects of Bupropion Sustained Release vs placebo on mood and anxiety symptoms. This is the first study to ascertain the effectiveness based on the tripartite model of mood. Logic for using a broader scale comes from the nature of drugs. A given drug may produce a variety of effects and understanding what those effects are and how they relate requires testing a spectrum of symptoms. Without a simulacrum of lateral inhibition to enhance our understanding we simply include as much as possible. This study looks at the effects on nineteen individuals of bupropion on general distress, level of anhedonia/positive affect and somatic anxiety.
General distress is related to both depression and anxiety disorders. Anhedonia is associated with depression and not anxiety. Somatic anxiety is related to panic disorder and not tied to depression. The hypothesis was that bupropion would increase incentive motivation and positive affect more than symptoms of anxiety (relative to placebo.) All participants were outpatients for recurrent major depression according to the DSM-IV. None were taking psychotropic drugs for a week before hand. There were also no comorbid disorders that might skew results.
The results showed in favor of bupropion for treatment of major depression. Relative to placebo there was a steeper decline in anhedonic symptoms. According to the MASQ, GDD and the HAM-D-17 the effects on depressive symptoms were generally improved. Results are comparable to drugs with serotonergic effects and significantly greater than placebo. An interesting result of this study showed that bupropion more sharply decreased negative affect (as opposed to increasing positive affect.) Over time the positive affect items were improved as well.
At first there was little distinction in anxiety between the test and control groups. Declining anxiety in both groups was more likely the result of treatment or another variable independent of the drug’s effects. It would seem that placebo effects were greater for the anxiety symptoms than the depressive ones. The findings seem favorable for treatment of depression and increasing positive affect. Greater sample sizes should be used to replicate these results however.
IVb: Bupropion for Depression Relapse.
It seems a fairly reasonable assessment to say that bupropion is an effective treatment of depression. The logical next step question would be ‘but is there a cure?’ Unfortunately the first long term trial of bupropion SR shows that a relapse can be prevented for a time but not entirely without some sort of intervention on the patient’s behalf.
This leads to two possible courses of action. Continuing treatment would be one way to maintain normal functioning. Discontinuation might show no further adverse effects, but the potential for relapse makes this a risky course of action. Problems associated with continuation are tolerability and safety. Safety will be addressed more in depth later. Tolerability seems to be the distinguishing factor among the main anti-depressant drugs on the market. With comparable efficacy, it is not the presence of positive effects but the absence of negative ones which decides what will be treated and what won’t. After all, people take drugs because they don’t want to be depressed, but if the drugs accomplish this at some other equal or greater expense then people will refuse to take them. As many as 30% of outpatients for depression are believed to discontinue their medication.
There has been a good deal of research on the short term safety and effectiveness of bupropion but little or no long-term research to guarantee its viability as a continuation phase treatment. Growing popularity for atypical anti-depressants and waning interest in seratonergic drugs made this study relevant. To guarantee credibility a sample of 423 participants out of an original 828 participated through one year of treatment. Demographic differences were controlled for between the test and control groups.
Predictably those participants taking bupropion SR had a lower rate of relapse and a longer time for those that did relapse. By the end of the year there was a statistically significant difference between number of patients requiring intervention for a relapse. Placebo subjects were nearly twice as likely (1.83x) to relapse than those receiving the medication. Tolerability proved to be high. Only 16% reported the most common side effect, which was headache. There were no clinically significant differences in weight gain, systolic/diastolic blood pressure or resting pulse rate(cite, 2002.)
So it appears that while there is no cure for depression, yet, there is a strong hope that continued medication will prevent a relapse. Wellbutrin allows this to be a possibility without running the risk of serious side effects or health concerns. It is very important to note that, even with medication, 37% of participants still experienced a relapse necessitating intervention. Drugs alone are not the only solution to depressed patients, care and attention are and probably will be just as important as medicine.
Va: Bupropion as a Smoking Cessation Aid
However odd it seems, the mechanisms for Zyban the anti-smoking pill and the anti-depressant Wellbutrin are exactly the same and yet each drug is effective for both purposes. Pure curiosity makes this connection a tantalizing one. Whether there is some connection between the nicotine addiction or the mind set that leads to smoking is unclear. In fact, there is almost no data for why bupropion works, only that it does. Perhaps withdrawl and depression are linked. I think the likeliest connection has to do with either the norepinephrine and dopamine actions and the mechanism of withdrawl itself. Some evidence or at least basis for a hypothesis could be related to the similar but diminished effects of that bupropion shares with cocaine and other dopamine blockers.
It is known that in-patient treatment of smokers that are not trying to quit receive the anti-depressant benefit of bupropion. Clear evidence does not exist for whether a similar effect occurs in smokers taking bupropion who are trying to quit. Researchers hypothesized that quitters treated with Zyban 300mg would experience less severe withdrawl symptoms. This study included seven sessions of counseling in addition to the medication.
At the end of the study 72% of the placebo participants and 52% of the drug patients reported a return to smoking by the end of eight weeks. This is a significant difference. In terms of negative affect the bupropion participants decreased while the placebo group increased by seven times as much as the drug group decreased. This implies that withdrawl symptoms were modulated by the effects of bupropion. With such a limited measure of withdrawl severity (ie change in negative affect) it is hard to draw inferences beyond ‘bupropion is effective for smokers who smoke to relieve negative affect.’(cite mediating mechanisms, 2002)
Another, long term and better controlled, study was completed shortly after the previous one. Many of the conditions were similar to the long term study on depression so I have omitted some of the details. It is of note that this study was done in eight countries at a total of twenty six centers. Treatment included bupropion SR in conjunction with counseling visits and phone calls.
The pills used were manufactured in Zebulon, North Carolina.(cite tonnesen)
The definition for smoking cessation employed was abstinence beginning at the end of the seven week treatment phase and in subsequent time until the year was up. Though drug treatment ended after only 2 months, monthly counseling services were maintained during the trial period for abstinence.
Results were similar in magnitude for the initial anti-smoking treatment and the long term continuation phase treatment for depression. Though nearly twice as many drug participants were successful the figures ~46% and ~23% are hardly astounding. Side effects reported were also similar, as is to be expected, relating to weight gain, withdrawl symptoms and adverse events. Curiously, there was a higher incidence of negative effects in the drug group (29%) than in the placebo group (12%.) Side effects leading to discontinuation were 8% and 6% for the drug and placebo groups respectively. All told, the long term effects of bupropion help but do not guarantee success in the attempt to quit smoking.

Section VI: Side Effects and Dangers Associated
Though its predecessors are plagued with side effects, some arguably as bad or worse than depression, bupropion is not a totally innocent drug either. Most side effects are mild and infrequent but there are some that make Wellbutrin and Zyban an impractical option.
Most popular among the more serious side effects is the increased rate of seizure in approximately 1/1000 people on the standard dose of 300mg per day. The drug does not actually cause the seizure to happen. Bupropion lowers the seizure threshold, making the likelihood of a seizure greater. Other anti-depressant, anti-psychotic and systemic steroids also lower threshold and this presents a danger of negative interaction. Also, taking both Zyban and Wellbutrin is unsafe because of the higher than standard dose. At that amount the seizure rate is higher, but a specific figure was not given.
Other complications can occur from the combination of bupropion and other psychotropic drugs as well as preexisting psychosis. Activation of latent psychosis or induction of mania can pose a threat to a person’s mental health. In some depressed patients, they reported delusions, hallucinations, paranoia and various other side effects. Most abated after a reduction in dosage or stoppage of treatment. The similarity of these side effects to schizophrenic symptoms is not entirely unexpected. It is scary though.
One of the most common side effects was mild insomnia. Nearly 40% of participants reported some degree of insomnia. Only .6% discontinued use as a result. (Cite zyban prescribe)
Another sleep related side effect relates to bupropion and REM sleep. It has been shown that treatment with bupropion decreases the latency of REM onset. Also, there is an increase in both REM time and REM percent. To date, bupropion is one of the very few anti-depressents that does not suppress REM sleep. While this may seem encouraging, or at least not harmful, there have been anecdotal reports of increased dream and nightmare intensity as well.
One of the rare and unfortunate events associated with bupropion is the potential for death. In 1998-1999 there were 5 separate cases involving death by bupropion. Each of the cases was suspected to be suicide with an unknown amount. Though each of the five cases involved various symptoms they were all associated with bupropion-only exposure. During the same period there were 3 deaths associated with bupropion and ethanol consumption. It should be noted that all of these deaths are extremely rare and bizarre cases. The vast majority suffer no ill side effects that are harmful enough to preclude treatment.
VII: Who Should use Bupropion?
This is a good question that only a qualified medical personage or council can answer and even then there is no clear cut evidence to show just how safe or effective it is. Plenty of evidence for positive effects in the short term exist. None for long term, in the scope of decades, exist. Cigarette smoking for example was not linked to so many health problems, at least not by everyone, for many hundreds of years.
On a more practical scope it seems very likely that bupropion is safe enough for nearly everyone not taking drugs with harmful interactions. Other cases should be examined, but the general population of depressed patients is likely to experience great relief with few side effects.
Special cases, as in military personnel, should require further study on effects of total human performance. One study showed no visible decline in psychomotor performance among 24 military participants.(cite abstract). The results were in favor of use though they stipulated close observation. In an environment as stressful, and with as many smokers, as military life it is a wonder they aren’t issuing it along with M-16's and K rations.

VIII: Conclusion
The many effects and side effects make this a promising drug of vast importance and potential. It may not be a magic bullet for depression or nicotine addiction like penicillin was. But then again it could possibly give us the insight that would allow us to develop or discover even more potent drugs to treat, prevent and someday cure both depression and nicotine withdrawl. Until then, bupropion meets my personal approval as both a researcher and a user.

posted by Seth # 8:07 PM

Amazing what you can find if you turn one page further...some people might not understand the following post, but its a couple of verses from the bible that make me tingle. Psalm 54 has been my second favorite part, after ecclesiastes, since the days of half-gf Hailey. Enjoy it.

Save me, O God, by your name
And vindicate me by your might
Hear my prayer, O God;
give ear to the words of my mouth.

For the insolent,
have risen against me,
the ruthless seek my life;
they do not set God before them.

But surely, God is my helper;
the Lord is the upholder of my life
He will repay my enemies for their evil.
In your faithfulness, put an end to them.

With a freewill offering
I will sacrifice to you;
I give thanks to your name,
O Lord, for it is good.

For he has delivered me from every trouble
and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.

Righteous, Glorious, Mighty and Majestic isn't it? At the time of my deepest religious fervor I could feel the immense feeling of 'right' whenever I said this. To those that didn't know, and I don't believe anyone really did, I recited this in my head every single swim meet senior year in HS.

But later when I felt my faith falter and later still when it fled from my heart and more importantly my head, it still stirs up something. Read it again but from my point of view. It encompasses the great duality of those who have fought a close battle with God and barely won or lost. Those who lose get what they call 'the zeal of the convert' because they have to try extra hard to justify their faith.

On the other hand you get me, those who struggle long and hard against the great burden of not knowing what is right or what is good only to cast off every previous preconception except for one. The new model of Evil isn't a complete about-face, there are still wicked and good people. The difference, I can see them clearly now.

In my world my father is a great man who has saved and improved the lives of countless people. An entire town knows him by name, face or reputation. Considering this, as well as teaching me a great deal about the ways of the world, I would put him pretty close to the top of the totem pole.

The Old model claims otherwise. Becaues earthly deeds don't matter if you don't believe in Jesus or God. But hey, that's ok, because people can be easily deluded into thinking they are a good person despite all evidence to the contrary. Everyone deep down wants to think they're a good person, or at least 'i'm not such a bad guy/girl.' But all these people are not right, most are wrong and almost none of them realize it in time to change. Maybe they do and don't act on it, whatever. Pointing this back on track we get to heaven and hell.

According to the Old model my dad is going to hell. So am I, but I know i'm kind of a fuck head. So lets look at the rationale here. Murderers, thieves, rapists, and drug dealing freak shows are all going to hell with my dad. Don't get snippy, that's the common thread. Oh wiat, i forgot to mention everyone else that isn't a Christian also.

Now, who gets to go to heaven. The least imaginative, the least able and the least willing to lend a hand on earth! Consider the model fanatic/crusade kid/young lifer...what makes you a good Christian? A deep and devoted love of God, I respect that as long as its tied to reason and restraint or otherwise you get the moral majority and a bunch of fat whiny fags stealing from the middle class and the elderly.

Ah, you know me, i could go on forever. But instead, i'm gonna finish my paper, get a good night's sleep, and get up tomorrow morning...and if you can't go on without god then i strongly suggest you leave the world and your chemicals behind for better fertilizer.

Night y'all.
posted by Seth # 9:38 PM
Try to stand still and the world moves on without you. Sometimes it just stops and throws you forward.
posted by Seth # 8:53 PM
Well well well. It seems there may be a decent chance that if you're reading this you are Mike, one of his gay friends I don't know or someone else referred to it.

This will be addressed.

I don't mind people reading my stuff, i like to share my thoughts and opinions with whoever is willing to listen, as LONG as they're willing to listen without insisting i digest all their bullshit. Now keeping that in mind, if you are one of the people i mentioned in paragraph one that is fine. But if you're reading this because its 'contraversial' or some shit then this is what i have to say.

(But in order for my non-knowledgeable friends I will first elucidate them. Mark recently pointed out something to me in ex roomate's Profile [we'll call him micah hues for the sake of anonymity] and it is quoted below...

Here's a weblog of an old roomie of mine. If you have roughly 10 minutes of time to spare and have some sort of stand on religion, then I recommend that you read it. Keep in mind as you read, that he is very knowledgeable in both the Bible and opposing opinions. But I would also like to point out, that as a general rule people lash out at things they are threatened by and do not completely understand.

Now he is referring to my october 11th entry lashing out at stupid religious billboards and gay church marquees. We'll get to that, and we'll get to the little end message.)

That thread has nothing to do with your religious beliefs unless you are either A: a dumb cliche, B: a shallow self righteous prick who thinks that 'god is awesome' shirts are cool, or C: A dumb cliche that is also a shallow self righteous prick who thinks that 'god is awesome' shirts are cool

Consider what i was making fun of...still can't work it out for yourself? If not its called the dregs my friend, the pitiful wasted attempts that for some reason work on the exceptionally weak minded and guilty. I do not give a damn about the majority of douche bag attempts to shit on atheism because they are made by half-witted pricks and people that are either incapable of seeing logic or being wholly bound to it. If you happen to be a Christian that's fine with me. I'm an atheist, we can get along if we just leave that area alone. But not everyone wants to let sleeping dogs lie, and that's who i was attacking.

I'm sure a lot of people would be offended by some of the slogans, Christian or otherwise. They ARE offensive, making a shitty slogan up and attributing it to the almighty creator of the universe is wrong. There is a word for that its called 'lying' or if you wanna be more specific 'horrifically blasphemous lying.' Now there is a double standard here, I can make something up and say that God never said that. You might get offended if it was 'for God so loved the world...' but then again, i don't know either way. The point is, neither do you.

I'm pretty sure he's not to keen on the whole 'knee mail' shit.

Now i'm going to draw what we call a parallel analogy. Take this situation here: There is a guy. This guy LOVES music, specifically he loves beethoven. Now Bach and Mozart are good too, but this guy deep down knows Beethoven is the best and most beautiful music in the whole wild world. If you insulted Ludwig Van he would probably get a bunch of his friends together and burn your house down. What do you think would happen if you told him this exact phrase 'Britney Spears is a whore and her music is dirty shit only existing to fill the wallets of greedy corporate assholes.'

If he spoke english he'd probably say 'yeah, no shit.' If that was annoying or offensive you might wonder 'just what the hell kind of music lover are you?' You might also infer that there is some ulterior motive for his liking both beethoven and britney spears, just because they are music.

How does this relate? The music lover in the example is the potential Christian that would read my post and how he'd react is the second part. If a real Christian cares about the deep and meaningful relationship with God that the faith professes I can see him getting a little peeved about people whoring their religion out to the masses. Speaking of whoring, as a kind of romantic guy (you have to get to know me to figure that out) I get irritated to see when girls flaunt their shit as an attempt to draw the attention of as many people as possible. That's bad enough, but when she turns out to be a cock tease in a wonderbra and slimming hose that's even worse. That is also a metaphor for my experience with religon.

Oh and lets not forget the cute attempts at cudgeling my reason for writing the Oct 11th spiel in the first place. "But I would also like to point out, that as a general rule people lash out at things they are threatened by and do not completely understand"

Well Mike, since an insecure and mediocre example of humanity at large feels fit to question my judgment lets look at what I do understand.

Hypocrisy: Have you ever heard of a good Christian that...has premarital sex, sleeps through class, brags about how he believes girls to find him attractive and did not go to church the ENTIRE semester that we lived together (when i was around anyways) and on top of all that managed to delude himself into thinking my ex was interested in him on the basis of two non-personal conversations?

I'm not answering that, but think about it. Lets also look at what else seems to offend these people and why i just can't seem to muster enough zeal to want to kill or oppress people for them.

Premarital sex: people have done this for as long as we have been people. Until recently there were no real good ways (unless you dig on condoms made from sheep intestines) to keep a girl from getting pregnant. So its no wonder that people didn't want young kids fucking eachother all the time until they were ready according to social norms and customs. Now there are, don't be a bitch and get a girl knocked up and what harm could come from it. Unfortuneately people haven't quite gotten over their jealousy about all these hot easy sluts we have these days and so you get abstinence only education programs and shit like that. Speaking of sex...

Homosexuality: Ask anyone what is wrong with being gay, you might get 'its unnatural, maybe its even evil.' But there are a few confounding variables which make this flimsy bullshit assertion smell a little more like what it is. Consider a male born without the gene to activate testosterone...he would not be recognized as a male at all. This person, i'll say she, would be completely female in appearence and development. There would be problems with the genitals but it would still be a genetic male that looks incredibly female. What if you fucked her, would that make you gay? Yes it would, because she's a dude. You fucked a dude, hell it may have happened to me or to any of you. Oh but its about dominance when dogs do it, no other animals on earth engage in homosexual activity you say...wrong again. Look at bonobos, they're a fun punch of primates commonly called 'pygmy chimpanzees' and man they make the wildest roman orgy look like an everyday occurence. There is no sodomy (mind they don't really have access to KY) but there is oral sex and promiscuity in both sexes. Now if you wanted you could say 'hey that means there IS some biological precedent which may be a part of our genetic makeup' but you probably don't believe in evolution either.

Evolution: You're dumb if you don't, i'm sorry but I just don't see the need to argue this any more. Yes 5.99 billion people can be wrong, and yes they probably are. But this isn't a why question, its a how question. Creationism is a why and and how, don't confuse the two. Doesn't mean we came from nothing, means we maybe don't understand how it happened but i guarantee that in a few hundred years people that don't believe in evolution are going to be as rare and considered as ignorant as the people that told galileo the earth was the center of the universe.

Mediocrity: Yeah, you probably haven't seen this coming yet but here it is. If you need a God so badly that you can ridicule others for not believing without even following the rudiments of His supposed wishes then you are a douche bag. There are many other things I could call you but that's oddly appropriate. I don't lash out because I don't understand, I lash out because I DO understand. And you embrace not because you understand, but because you don't understand.

I make no claim to the higher secrets of the universe, but the lower ones are right in front of your fucking eyes. And just because you can't handle looking into the cold black possibility that there is no one out there watching out for you doesn't make it any less true.

Now, go pray for my soul you whiny fuck.

posted by Seth # 2:07 PM