Jul. 26th, 2006

oneirophrenia: (Mad Scientist 1)
Here's a Creation Myth for you. I promise it's a lot more exciting than that stupid bored-god-makes-world-in-seven-days crap you're probably familiar with:

“Let me tell you the story of the world,” A Certain Person said, “because someday soon it will be your story.”

Ages ago, there was nothing but the Black: the cold, boring nothingness that fills the night sky between the stars when the Sun has gone to the other side of the world, dragging his blue, cloudfilled robes after him. But beneath the Black the Mother lay quiet and asleep, just as men and women will sleep when the Black comes out above them, and in her long, long sleep she began to dream of light—a brilliant light to warm her flesh and chase away all that featureless, somnolent nothing. So her belly grew fat with her dreams and, one day, she gave birth to the Sun, whose glorious yellow countenance pushed back the Black and shone with waking life upon the Mother’s vast and beautiful body. The Sun adored his Mother, and clung fast to her like any newborn will. Though he was bright and his face poured forth warmth, there was still so much empty, empty Black around, and the Sun was cold, so his Mother made from him (out of further dreams) a cloak of the brightest blue stuffed with soft white clouds to make him comfortable.

An age passed happily for both Mother and Sun, but one day they both began to feel the gradual return of the Black, seeping closer to them like cold water. The Sun said, “Mother, make brothers and sisters for me to go forth into the Black and hold it away.” So the Mother closed her great eyes and dreamt of other sons and daughters that she could send questing against the Black. Her belly grew huge and one day, from her mouth, from her ass, from her vagina, even from the tiny pores in her skin came forth gleaming children, the siblings of the Sun. These brothers and sisters were all like the Sun, but none were as glorious or as bright as he was. They, too, wanted only to cling to the Mother’s waist as the Sun did, but both Mother and Sun told them that their destinies would be greatly different: they would travel far, far from her and push the Black back as far as they could to protect their Mother and her Firstborn. And so with a wave of her hand, she flung the other children away from her to battle the Black—and today, when you look up at the night, these children are the Stars holding back the Black.

Needless to say, many of the Sun’s brothers and sisters were not at all happy to have been sent so far away from their Mother, to fight endlessly against the nothingness. Chief among these was a hot-tempered youngster who called himself The Brightest Star. For a long time, he had been the most valiant and diligent of the Stars, leading many great campaigns against the Black—but he had always been jealous of his big brother the Sun. And when, at last, the war against the Black had calmed down to something of a standstill, and The Brightest Star was no longer occupied with warfare, his jealousy began to grow and to infect others. “Why must we all be so far from you?” The Brightest Star asked the Mother one day. “Why cannot we, like the Sun, be close to you? What makes him better than us?”

To which the Mother stupidly replied, “He is my firstborn, and you are not. A Mother always dotes on her firstborn; the other children must make their own way.” This inflamed The Brightest Star and his allies, and after an age of bitter argument, insults, and slowly-building rage, The Brightest Star lashed out against the Mother and slapped her face.

The Sun immediately jumped to her defense, and so began the War of Lights. The Brightest Star and his cohort, fully one-third of all the Stars, fell to battle against the Sun himself, whom the Mother armored in silvery Metal made from yet more dreams and backed against the rebellious Stars. The war was horrible, and many, many Stars were extinguished…but as the battles grew hotter, they grew closer and closer to the Mother, who cowered in fear behind the Sun. She was never uncertain that her firstborn would prevail, but one day a terrible thing happened.

The Brightest Star, in his long battles against the Black, had taken some of the Black into his own heart and had studied it for a very long time. He had learned to make a cloak of it, and so he wrapped himself in a shroud of utter Blackness and cast himself directly at the Sun. The Sun could not see him coming, and when they collided, the force of the impact was so great that it shattered the Sun’s armor of Metal entirely and drove him and the shards of his armor back into his Mother, who was still hiding behind him. The impact tore her body asunder.

When the Sun and The Brightest Star, who now was known as The Black Star because of his unseeable cloak, awoke dazed to find themselves surrounded by the bloody remains of their Mother, they wept uncontrollably and cursed themselves for their awful jealousy. The Sun cast The Black Star and his remaining followers out into the Black again, and gathered together the orts and tatters of his beloved Mother. Slowly, over a very long time, he began to put her back together. He took her heart to be the core of the World, and wrapped it in her vitals. He built a strong fortress for her vitals from her bones and from the shattered Metal of his armor, and wrapped the skeletal ball in her muscle and fat. Finally, he stitched together a protective swaddling of skin and wrapped her in it. The remains of her bright white skull he trails behind him to this day as a reminder to all of the horrors that had passed, and to give a little light to the night.

---

So there you go. That's the story behind the story I'm banging out right now. Obviously, it's highly inspired by my reading of Joseph Campbell's Masks of God and Frazer's The Golden Bough, not to mention lots of Mieville, Steph Swainston, and William Hope Hodgson. It's set on a world simply called World, a gigantic living lump floating in space, built from the smashed remains of the primal Mother goddess a la Sumerian mythology...only when I saw the remains of the Mother, I literally mean the remains. The planet's covered in skin. It sweats in the daylight, and shivers at night. It's covered in places by hairs bigger than redwoods, and in some places warts, rashes, and assorted other mutations and irritations. The biggest mountain range, the Spine, is literally the Mother's spine, ripping up through the flesh of the World...and, yes, the "moon" is Her smashed-open skull. The world's heart beats endlessly in the core, a constant, slow drumming beneath the ground. Some of the locations in the story are the Vagina Springs, the Scar, the River Lacrimosa, the Mouth of the World and the Ass, the Phalanges, the Back, the Belly, and so forth....

"Humans" in this world fall into two types: those created by the Sun or the Mother herself to care after the World, who generally live off of the various fungi and giant parasites that infest the World's skin; and those supposedly created by The Black Star, who feed on the World's blood like ticks or fleas. The big conflict comes between the "Pure" Men and the Sappers, a conflict which Our Hero, simply called the Man, must find a way to stop before the entire World is destroyed or injured too badly to survive.

Ohyes, and there are also a number of "hellmouth"-like structures believed to be the Mouths of the World into which the dead (and sometimes the living) are routinely dropped in order to feed the World. These structures are lined with broken-off teeth.

There is also a guild of fleshwizards who specifically work with the neural tissue buried in the skin of the World in order to transfer thoughts and, rarely, material goods from one place to another. And, yes, they're called neuromancers.

Oh, shit.

Jul. 26th, 2006 01:04 am
oneirophrenia: (Conjoined Fetal Skeleton)
New Joisey stripper arrested for having human remains in her apartment.

No, she's not a serial killer. Witness:

A severed hand was found at the home of an exotic dancer who decorated her home with skulls, and she was charged with improper disposition of human remains, authorities said. Friends said the hand had been given to the woman by a medical student.


And furthermore:

Kay's mother, Patricia Ann Kay, told the newspaper that her daughter bought the skulls from a mail order catalog. She said her daughter has always been fascinated with the macabre, and when she was a girl she collected animal skulls and snake skeletons.

"She has a flair for the dramatic," Patricia Ann Kay said. "I have never tried to stop my children from doing whatever they want. As long as they are happy, aren't hurting anyone, and it's keeping them out of the poor house."


All I can say is...if those police saw the inside of my house, MSNBC would be billing me as Hannibal Lecter Jr. by sunrise of the next day.
oneirophrenia: (Brain Surgery)
Why the fuck is it so hard to just center something in CSS?

I'm experimenting with a sliced image: I basically built the image in Photoshop, sliced it up, and then outputted it to XHTML via Photoshop's "Save For Web" menu, specifically telling it to use CSS code rather than HTML tables to reassemble the image on the document page. Basically, what it did was set up a DIV for each slice of the image specifying the size and positioning of each of the image pieces: instead of each slice being a cell in a table, it's now a separate DIV. All of these separate DIVs are contained with a "wrapper" DIV creatively enough named #Wrapper. All this makes perfect sense to me.

But what I want to do is center that "wrapper" DIV in the middle of the browser window, and nothing I can do seems to be able to do that. As it now stands, the wrapper DIV aligns itself to the document origin at 0,0...so I created an outer wrapper DIV (called #Outer_Wrapper) that spans the entire browser window (width and height set to 100%, position set to absolute). #Wrapper is enclosed in this DIV. Text-align for #Outer_Wrapper is set to center, and position for #Wrapper is set to relative...which I think means that all absolutely positioned DIVs contained inside #Wrapper should use #Wrapper's upper left corner as their 0,0 point of origin. In Dreamweaver's design window, #Wrapper is then centered...but in any browser (I've tried it in Firefox and Opera and IE 6.0), #Wrapper is still flush left.

I don't fucking get it. There's got to be some kind of bullshit relating to absolute and relative positioning going on here, but I can't make head or tail of it.

I'm a goddamned graphic designer, not a goddamned code monkey....I remember the days when it was simple to design something for the web. NOW you have to be a fucking programmer just to center a stupid DIV. Let me put it to y'all simply: I cannot do shit if it isn't WYSIWYG. Period. I'm trying to learn but all I see when I look at a list of CSS properties is a bunch of numbers, and Dreamwaver/GoLive sure as hell aren't any help, since their CSS implementations are both so clunky it's actually easier for me to stare blankly at the raw code than it is to bother with any other view.

Does anyone have ANY idea what I should do here? Because at this point, I admit defeat.
oneirophrenia: (Dracula 1)
Hey, everybody! Let's go bride-hunting in the Ukraine!

I've thought about it a few times--I won't lie. I mean, Ukrainian women are, by and large, very attractive and very intelligent. But...man, wouldn't that feel weird, just walking into a Ukrainian hotel littered with women desperate to escape the wreckage of the Soviet Empire, picking some chick, and saying, "You will be with me tonight!" Bizarre.
oneirophrenia: (Two-Tone Ska!)
Or, down and out in Gaytown, USA.

Now, let me tell you: I've been to P-Town, and it is gay. Gayer than the gayest gay of all gays. I had a fucking blast there. Why? Because gay people are almost always cool....

However, gay people are still human (unfortunately), and as humans they have the potential for assholery. It seems like the assholery has been getting a little out of hand in P-Town lately, though. This is annoying, of course, but not unexpected. It is not even one iota surprising that the gay majority in P-Town are getting into tussels with the people who signed the no-gay-marriage amendment petition. What do the fucking signers of this petition expect? You're telling the majority of people in your hometown that they can't marry, and you expect them not to get a little salty? It's bound to happen, idiots.

But hold on a second, now, Gay Majority of Provincetown, Mass. You can oppose these people, laugh at them in private (and in public), and get into debates with them all you like...but getting in their faces and nasty with them is NOT COOL. They're entitled to their stupid beliefs, and if all they've done is sign a petition--put a signature on a damned piece of paper--that is NOT grounds for gettin' all up in they grills. Mind you, the kind of people who sign anti-gay-marriage petitions are, sadly, more than likely to fling their beliefs around as though they are law (oh, wait, they are: God's law)...so if someone pulls that kind of chicanery and gets pissed when someone pulls the same shit with them, then it's shame shame double-shame on BOTH parties.

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