Posted by: zorathegreat | September 30, 2014


I don’t experience music all that visually myself, but I love these for what they show about the architecture of music as well as the variety of ways we “see” it.

I hope you enjoy these.

Posted by: zorathegreat | February 20, 2014


Hanne Blank is a brilliant person who knows how to write and sing, what sorts of things should always be in one’s pantry, and how to truly rock a pair of wingtips. She sometimes wears flowers in her hair, but she could still kick your ass. She wouldn’t, for the record, and she doesn’t need to. When you’re nine flavors of badass, it doesn’t come up that much.

For her birthday, Hanne asked for beautiful words. I decided to make my words public because I hope that by doing so, some people who aren’t familiar with her can discover her. You can thank me later.

When I met Hanne, I was 20. I didn’t have many stories, conquests, or scars. I had never even tasted a red pepper.

She was smart and funny and powerful and sexy and fierce. And still is, no doubt.

She was one of my first role models, and here’s why:

She had opinions and she expressed them.

And she did it with big words that I had to look up in the dictionary, with little words that made me blush, with clarity and with fire, humor and warmth.

She had been places and done things.

She had the air of a person who has seen some shit, by golly, but who wasn’t world-weary. She was just getting warmed up.

She was full of talent and she wasn’t a dick about it. She nurtured people who had motivation and curiosity.

I didn’t know jack shit. She drove me to a music festival in Idaho when I didn’t have a car. She taught me dirty lyrics to classical pieces to use as a memory aid in my music history class. I laugh every time I hear the rhythmic drone of Mars, Bringer of War’s “I’ve Got A Big Dick And A Job.” And she set a plate of crisp, sliced red peppers on the table in front of me, and after that first bite I considered how many wonderful things there are in the world that I didn’t yet know about, and that I wanted to be the kind of person who could put plate of them in front of someone else.

Now I know this was NOT Hanne’s intent when she asked for beautiful words as a birthday present. She asked for people to celebrate the joy of language with her, not shamelessly kiss her ass. I like beautiful words, and I love the ugly ones, so here are some words, both nice and not, for Hanne on her birthday:

Zest, vermillion, languid, fortnight, plankton, limpid, hootenanny.

Pip, kipper, fingerling, fraudulent, rapscallion, nipple, rutabaga.

Fancy, tickle, whimsy.

Alleviate, anticipate, luxuriate, emancipate, fornicate, deviate, celebrate.

All my best, Hanne.


(Her words are so much better than mine. Go go go to or her author page and roll around in them a little.)

Posted by: zorathegreat | November 14, 2013

Re: offering hope as an atheist

This is a somewhat clunky way to reply, but I couldn’t fit this into 140 characters.

Teller addressed this point in a way I found really meaningful in an interview about Play Dead. The discussion was about psychic frauds, but I think it addresses your comment about not being able to offer hope as an atheist.

“What makes life precious is that it ends, and anything that takes away our awareness that it ends makes life less precious. And that’s a really important thing to keep in mind when people say, “you know, you’re giving them hope.” Well, you don’t want to give them hope, you want to give them life.”

Maybe all we can offer is “I love you, and I’m here for you.” You’re giving them something to rely on today: you, your love and support.

(For the record, the full interview can be found on The Magic Newswire Podcast, #291: Teller, Todd & Tomsoni)

Posted by: zorathegreat | January 5, 2013


She stood before him, as quiet and expectant as the pause between movements of a scintillating performance of a Bartok String Quartet. Her hips moved with a delightful syncopation, and as he stared at her he had impure thoughts about the analysis of her internal rhythmic motifs.

She gazed at him with eyes as moist as huevos rancheros, and the tiny pink bud of her lips was like a perfectly formed rose on the top of a birthday cake, artfully sculpted, reminding him of his birthday candle which he imagined her blowing out, wondering what her secret wish might be. Her body was full and soft like a ripe peach, and her perfectly round breasts bounced languidly like buoys on the surface of a calm sea. The look on her face was one of the most intense desire, and sensing the fire in her loins, he leaned down to that sweet furnace and lit a cigarette.

All he could think of as he sucked at that blatantly phallic tobacco pacifier was the nearness of her grotto of infinite satisfaction, and grinding out his non-lubricated Camel Light filter tip with the toe of his boot, he stepped forward to seize her shoulders in his meaty hands.

She devoured his kiss like a snow cone on a hot August afternoon, their mouths locked so tightly that Houdini himself could not have escaped from between them, their tongues dancing a moist tango. He groaned like the finest of leather seats as she melted into the buttery smoothness of his upholstery and she drove the kiss ever forward, speeding down the highway of their desire, reaching down to shift him into gear. She pulled on his lever firmly, like Dr. Frankenstein bringing his monster to life.

Looking into his wild eyes, she sank to the floor, going down on him like the Titanic crashing against the iceberg of his passion. He raked his nails along the ground, furrowing deep rows in the earth as she pulled at his wild oats, readying his seed to sow. Able to stand it no longer, he attempted to fling her down and hogtie her, and she squealed and squirmed away like a greased pig, but not for long. He rode her like the worst kind of monkey on her back, and she raged and churned beneath him like a wild bull trying to buck a cowboy. He gripped her thighs, his nails like spurs, holding himself in the saddle, wanting more than just an eight-second ride.

She cried out the Miranda of her passion, making him aware of his rights to her criminal need. He frisked every inch of her body, his gun pressed firmly into her, the bullets sliding home in the chamber, the hammer being pulled back, ready to fire. She cried out as he discovered her hidden stash, the dangerous drug of her arousal, the cruel addiction to his manly syringe. He injected his fleshy drug into the deep vein of her body with a quick jab, watching as the serum took effect. She was lost and uncontrollably intoxicated by it, and he gave her another dose, his face looking like a mad scientist as he screamed out his accomplishment.

She felt the fangs and fur of her climax growing in the light of his heated, maddening moon and he howled in its blinding glow, his body still thrashing from the ongoing transformation. She writhed and shuddered as her consciousness was eclipsed, his dipper riding the peak of her north star, blazing at last into a big bang.