Glossolalia is moving… AGAIN!

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Jan 202012

Hello everyone!

This is just a quick and brief update to let you know that the Glossolalia blog is being rolled into the main Asplenia Studios website.

No more posts will be uploaded here, although Glossolalia will continue to live on in a new home.

If you haven’t already, be sure to visit Asplenia Studios, and be sure to join the RSS feed to keep up with all of the Glossolalia posts, as well as Asplenia Studios news and posts, as well!

See you there!

 Posted by at 7:20 pm
Jan 192012

For centuries, entertainment for the masses has been plagued with a common theme: people cast as characters that they simply shouldn’t be cast as.

At first, it was Greek and Roman theater, which set the (haha) stage for men portraying female characters. Surprisingly, it took a couple millenia for them to wise up and think: “Hey, maybe having a gal play the part of the gal would seem more believable?”

Then, of course, we had blackface. Because Lord knows we didn’t want no negroes actually fraternizing with whites on the stage. So we put some white guy in black makeup and, voila, a black man.

Now, both of these have pretty much fallen by the wayside, except in cases when it is essential to the plot (Robert Downey Jr in Tropic Thunder playing a white method actor who is cast as a black character comes to mind), but we just don’t see it anymore.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 7:20 pm
Jan 172012

We just returned from our big check-up with the ob-gyn and everything is going fairly well with the baby. As of this appointment the doctor stated with almost complete certainty that it is, in fact, a girl. So for all the people who sent early gifts that are girly in nature, you can wipe the sweat from your brows, because there isn’t a need for any returns or exchanges.

So the baby is good. We have a healthy working heart, kidneys and stomach. Two hands, two feet, ten fingers, ten toes, one head.

Actually, it is that head, though… Apparently that super-powerful Mark IV Kvikstad-Sorley Brain we installed needs a big casing, because her head is well above the top percentile for size. The doctor, however, was not concerned about it. I just don’t know if it is a good or a bad thing when I first saw those stats that I thought of the song “Disproportioned Head” by The Vandals

Otherwise, the only other possible hiccup is that she is still in a breach position, with that large head of hers constantly poking into the front of mommy’s right ribcage. Considering she also has her hands and her feet up by her face, that is a lot of moving baby concentrated in one area, constantly punching and kicking those ribs and organs. Ouch! My thought was to slowly massage the right of her head and the left of her bottom to get her to rotate counter-clockwise into a normal position. I’ll let you know if it works.

Below is one of the better pictures from the ultrasound (it looks so much clearer when it is live). I think she has a Tom Selleck mustache…

 Posted by at 11:41 am

Seriously? A “buttock-slasher”?

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Jan 162012

Recent news in the U.S. has been ablaze with stories about a man who, since about the middle of last year, has been “slashing the buttocks” of female shoppers in Fairfax, Virginia. The plot of the sordid tale only thickens when the manhunt for him finally ended in his apprehension… IN PERU!!!

Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up!

The suspect, Johnny D. Guillen, used a method that, when you think of it, was quite ingenious. In a clothing store, he would approach his victim from behind and pretend to drop an armful of clothes he was carrying. The victim would assume nothing was amiss, just that someone had a little accident. Then, when he was picking up the clothes, he would slash the victim’s buttocks with, presumably, a box cutter. EVERY SINGLE TIME the victim just thought that she was poked with an errant hanger and, invariably, it wasn’t until well after the attack that any of the victims noticed that they had actually been cut. Including one victim who had a one-and-a-half inch slash to her butt.

All of that in itself is enough for a made-for-TV movie, but when Guillen fled Virginia, Interpol got on the case and he was eventually busted in Peru.

Think about that for a moment: a man accused of slashing the butts of, I believe, 13 women in Fairfax, Virginia is hunted down and caught in Peru, less than a year after the incidents began.

Yet people like the Unibomber and bin Laden take years, if not decades, to get caught. We STILL haven’t figured out what happened to D.B. Cooper, and no one knows where the heck Jimmy Hoffa is.


Either way I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why a person would get off on slashing the butts on women. Maybe I’ve just been reading the wrong books.

 Posted by at 8:58 am

I dream of… random?

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Jan 132012

A post or two ago I talked about dreams of dead people. I feel that I may have withheld some important information from you, which may clarify what I will tell you soon: I also recently started on some medication which has the unusual side-effect of “vivid, memorable dreams.” This has been slightly disconcerting because, well, my dreams have become much more vivid, and much more memorable.

Which leads me to last night’s insanity-fest, a majority of which seems to be indelibly imprinted in my mind:

Ok, so this one started out kind of suddenly. My friend Noah Tabakin (formerly of The Little Blue Crunchy Things) who performs under the name Ssssnake and I were on tour together. I wasn’t performing or anything. I think, to the best of my knowledge, I was his roadie/bus-driver/manager.

Anyhow, we were staying the night at a hotel which happened to be in an old department store in a strip mall. If you exited through the back, you could get to a Pizza Hut in another strip mall right behind it (if you have ever been behind a strip mall before, you will know how ludicrous this is… no one puts the front of a strip mall behind another strip mall).

Except, this Pizza Hut wasn’t very Pizza Hut-ish. It look more like an Italian-themed restaurant. Even the manager and his wife, who was the sole cook, were Italian. We’ll call it Pseudo-Pizza Hut

So I order us some pizzas and we sit down. While we are waiting, a family of tourists come in and order as well. It is at this point, that I realize we are not in the United States, but another country. Another group of college kids backpacking across… where ever we are… come in as well. We all get to talking, but it doesn’t take long for me to notice that the family and the college kids are served their food rather quickly, while we still wait for ours.

The family finishes, says goodbye, and leaves. Finally our food arrives (but it is brought in by a completely new person from outside of the restaurant), and it is the completely wrong thing. We mention this to the manager (who turns out to be the owner as well) and, although he is insistent that the error is not on their part, and the cook is shooting daggers at me, he says they will remake the order. Noah’s getting impatient, I’m pissed that it is implied that we made a mistake when ordering. And we wait… for another hour.

I cannot stress this part enough because, in my dream, it literally went for what felt like an hour. Ughh…

Finally, because leaving the table to wander around is the right thing to do when waiting for your food, I get up and go outside. I’m walking around when I come up to a British-style double-decker bus. It turns out this is a bus for giving tours around the town we are in, and it is driven by none other than my friend Patricia’s non-existent sister (not her real sister, mind you. the other one that doesn’t actually exist anywhere else except in my dream). I convince her to let me drive the bus around, which she hesitantly does. On this particular bus, however, one drives from the top. AND… when you are up at the top, the bus actually seems to be about 5 storeys high, making driving a bit difficult because, you know, you have to avoid trees, lightpoles, electrical wires, and anything else that crosses over a road.

After driving the bus around for a bit, and hitting a couple of things, I pull up to the Pseudo-Pizza Hut to see how things are going. It is an hour later and the manager/owner finally has our food ready. However, it is the same food they tried to serve us before. He says that they simply cannot cook what we want (a sausage and mushroom pizza?!?) and tries to mollify us by giving us each $1000 with our food. Angry and dissatisfied, we leave the restaurant.

OK, here’s where things get weird.

We leave the restaurant, turn to the right and walk down the front of the strip mall. We go around the back and come around to the front again. On the corner is a pub where we see the tourist family, the college backpackers, and Patricia’s (non-existent) sister. We step in for a drink and they tell us that they are actually from a rival pizza company (unnamed) and that they are going to firebomb the Pseudo-Pizza Hut that night after everyone is gone, asking if we’d like to join in. Citing that we need to get to the next gig, we politely decline and Patricia’s (non-existent) sister grants us the use of her double-decker bus for the rest of the tour (a dubious gift, considering how hard it was to drive).

As we are pulling away on the bus, I look over and see the Pseudo-Pizza Hut aflame. Oddly enough (or maybe not for a dream) the fire is in no way affecting the stores directly to either side of the Pseudo-Pizza Hut.

In the immortal words of Keanu Reeves in just about every one of his movies: “Whoa.”

 Posted by at 8:56 am

Sony + Steampunk = I see failure in your future…

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Jan 112012

Take a look at this:


That is a “steampunk” laptop, made by Sony. Actually, it is a Sony Vaio F laptop with a special cover designed to look “steampunk”.

What is steampunk, you may ask? If you don’t know, here’s a little primer (if you DO know, skip the italicized section below):

Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction in which authors, artists, and fans imagine a past history (typically the 1800’s) in which steam is used to power all sorts of devices. Typically anachronistic, it is not uncommon to see analog computers, flying ships (most often dirigibles and the like), and even cybernetics and robotics. 

However, one common theme is the visual aesthetic, which generally appears very Victorian-age in style, including lots of brass, piping, dials, and gauges. And even though steam is not always indicated as a power-source, any technology that appears Victorian in design, and is anachronistic, can be considered steampunk.

In fact, one of the most widely recognizable steampunk devices is the Nautilus submarine from the Disney film adaptation of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and some lesser known ones can be seen in the disaster of a film Wild, Wild West starring Will Smith, Kevin Kline, and Kenneth Branagh; including Branagh’s character’s prosthetic lower body, and the giant spider thingy.

So, anyway. steampunk is a nitch sub-genre of sci-fi, but its adherents are truly faithful. Many fans go to comic/sci-fi/geek conventions wearing steampunk outfits, weaponry, and machinery of their own design and construction. They are very creative, very intricate in design and ornamentation (the “Victorian” influence), and can be pretty cool-looking. In face, a friend of mine once actually re-envisioned the Ghostbuster’s uniforms, proton packs, and proton guns in steampunk-style, making the entire costume himself.

The important thing here is to remember that this culture is very DIY, and very creative.

And then you have Sony coming along with what will be a mass-produced laptop case. Its only pedigree for being steampunk seems to be a couple of gauges, some copper/brass panels, and some metal tubing (to be honest, considering the weight, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was all painted plastic).

While the prototype looks kind of OK, I fully imagine when seeing multiples of the same unit lined up in a row the uniqueness that is inherent in steampunk will be lost, and any interest will soon wane.

And that is part of the problem when major corporations try to tap into and market sub-cultures by taking something that a community has built up itself and then mass-producing it, usually to general failure.

An example of this is Toyota’s Scion brand of automobiles. Scion, when first announced in 2003 for North America, tried to market to car-modding enthusiasts, particularly of those into modifying Japanese brand cars. A buyer was able to go online and chose upgrades (mostly aesthetic) to their car, including paint jobs, new rims, spoilers, etc., and have the car built to order. As opposed to purchasing the car and then having it modified at a garage or, as is sometimes the case, doing it on your own.

While Scion models have gained a certain popularity for being alternatives to standard entry-level cars, the whole “modding” schtick never really played out. Probably because the small, dedicated group of enthusiasts are no dummies. They can smell and rat and can tell when they are being pandered to.

So I think that will also be the case with Sony’s new steampunk laptop. I am predicting it will sell poorly and will, eventually, be discontinued.

And the dedicated steampunk enthusiasts will continue on their merry way, with their pressures gauges, polished brass tubes, and uncompromised creativity.

 Posted by at 9:44 am
Jan 092012

Last night I had a dream. Well, I had lots of dreams, to be honest.

I was attending I guess what we would call a Madison Wake for my friend, Mike Holgers (you may recall he passed away this last October). In this dream, a large portion of the crowd that we hung out with when I lived in Madison were there, or were arriving as the dream progressed.

Two aspects of this dream made it interesting. The first was that, even though it was taking place in Madison, Wisconsin, the location was actually a large castle on a mountaintop (something that Wisconsin is severely lacking in, last time I checked). To reach the top, you had to take this way old funicular. It was a rickety old thing, I’ll tell you!

At this wake, we were all celebrating Mike’s life and achievements by, literally, browsing bis Xbox360 Achievements (for those who don’t know, it is basically a list of “milestones” you have achieved in the video games you play). Everyone was there: Ian, Stangl, Hanson, Greer… more people than I can recount. We were drinking lots of beer, too.

The second interesting thing is that Holgers was there with us. Checking out all of his achievements, laughing along, and sharing stories. And no one seemed to notice anything wrong with that.

Then the dream kind of devolved into me trying to save a mama cat’s kittens from being washed down a storm drain while she was fending off giant chipmunks.

I don’t know about you, but I find it kind of creepy when the dead show up in my dreams. Of the dozen or so people I have been close to who have died, either family or people who were my age and I went to school with or worked with, only two have ever popped up in my dreams: my mom, and now Holgers.

In my mother’s case, the dreams started almost a year after she died and, at first, they revolved more around the fact that I knew she was there, but not right there, like just out of sight in another room or something. Eventually, as I dreamt of her more often, she would slowly begin showing up, starting with a fleeting glimpse out of the corner of my eye. Eventually she would be a regular presence in any dream involving her (she didn’t dominate all of my dreams, but when she was there, she wasn’t hiding). In fact, in one dream I straight-up told her she was dead and asked what she was doing there, and she put her finger to her lips, shushed me, and whispered not to tell anyone. Man, that was creepy.

But with Holgers, there was no tentativeness or hesitation. One second we are all at his wake, the next he’s sitting next to us, laughing along and telling stories, and nothing seemed out of place.


I don’t know what to take away from all of this. As I build each person in my dreams, maybe their actions are a reflection of how I always saw them? My mother could be very charismatic in public, but I always saw her as a reserved person. And Holgers was always outgoing no matter what (I tend to think that, with no one around, he would simply joke to himself in the mirror).

One thing I HAVE noticed is how I envision them. My mother always appears as I knew her in the late ’80s, and not any time before or after. Holgers, on the other hand, looks more like he did when I first really started hanging out with him in 2001 (to be fair, after moving away from Madison in 2003, I would always picture him that way, even when he was still alive). Hmmm…

…and I’m still trying to figure out what the hell that cat dream represents.

 Posted by at 11:27 am
Jan 082012

As that blessed day draws near, we have begun to prep our hospital suitcase. Luckily, for us, the facility where we are birthing the baby has given us a nice list of things to bring along, for both the newborn and the mother.

Let’s take a look:

For the baby: 5 cotton onesies, 5 rompers (body suits), 5 pairs of socks, 3 wool jackets (2 in summer), 2 Hats (1 in summer), square nappies, 2 sleeping bags, 4 towels, bibs, a bath thermometer, a clinical thermometer, a hair brush.

For the mother: normal clothing (practical for breast-feeding), nightgown or pajamas, towels, gloves, toiletries, hairdryer, slippers, liquid soap for personal hygiene, 2 packages of sanitary napkins, disposable underpants (we’re not entirely sure on this one, but we think it means ‘undies you don’t mind getting ruined), two nursing bras, a humidifier, a clinical thermometer.

Wow. That’s quite a lot! It is like they are planning on staying!

That is because they are.

In France, new mothers and babies stay in the hospital for, at least, five days. And that is if there are no immediate complications and everyone is, essentially, healthy from the get go.

Countries like France with robust health care systems that actually put health and human lives over profit have this annoying tendency to have much better infant mortality rates than the USA. According to the UN, the USA’s infant mortality rate for the 15 years between 1995-2010 is averaged at  a little over 7/1000. France, on the other hand, is a little over 4/1000. This may not seem like much but, when you think about it, it really is.

Sure, there are all types of factors that can go into this formula, but one of the big ones is that, in the USA, the average hospital stay postpartum is just over two days. And guess what? It is two days because that is what the federal government REQUIRES insurers who also provide pregnancy benefits to pay for. Before that insurers only covered one day and that was, once again, because the government “forced” them to do it through regulation.

So I feel pretty comfortable having our baby here in France, where the chances of survival are that much better than back home.

 Posted by at 10:08 pm

The hypocritical nature of the American Right, as illustrated by Rick Santorum

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Jan 072012

Rick Santorum has enjoyed a surge in popularity since his “loss” to Mitt Romney by only eight votes in the Iowa Caucuses (isn’t that a mountain range?). Along with this win though, comes the inevitable increased scrutiny in order to better understand the man and his visions and policies for America. For good or bad, this scrutiny will bring to light a majority of the questionable things Santorum has said in the past. I had the joy of living in Pennsylvania during the last few years of his tenure as a senator and, I’ll tell you, this man is foolish and dangerous.

In his prolific politicking leading up to the Iowa Caucuses  (no, really, it’s a mountain range), Rick Santorum, while discussing whether states should have the right to restrict or forbid contraception for married couples, said this:

“The state has a right to do that, I have never questioned that the state has a right to do that. It is not a constitutional right, the state has the right to pass whatever statutes they have.”

Now, given that Santorum is already treading on an individual/couple’s right to do what they want with their bodies, he is also demonstrating a typical right-wing hypocrisy.

You see, Santorum is ALSO on record for his desire to utilize federal power in order to abolish same-sex marriage and gay rights throughout the United States, trampling any state statutes that have legalized them.

Wait a second, here. Let me point this out again:

“…the state has the right to pass whatever statutes they have.”

So, not surprisingly, he demonstrates the typical right-wing attitude that the states have rights to do whatever they want within their own borders, EXCEPT when it is something that HE doesn’t want them to do.

Also not surprisingly is the added factor that this man is not only right-wing nutjob, but he is one of the most dangerous sub-classes of right-wing nutjob: a hardcore Christian right-wing nutjob. As much as he preaches for the freedoms and liberties that all Americans should possess, he is continually caught in a lie by his other statements that strongly state, with no room for ambiguity, that he would do his best to enforce Christian values and ideologies on the citizenry of the United States through legal means. Thereby using the law to inflict his Christian vision of morality and decency (which also includes attacks on science, but don’t get me started on that… yet).

Tell me, where is the freedom and liberty in that?

On a side-note, I also feel I have to mention Santorum’s quote from last February:

“The idea that the Crusades and the fight of Christendom against Islam is somehow an aggression on our part is absolutely anti-historical.”

Being someone who has studied the Crusades quite a bit, I have to tell you that Santorum really has no fucking clue what he is talking about. He is a moron who talks about history the way he wants it to be, as opposed to what it really is. I would actually like to debate him on this very quote, because it would take me about five seconds to tear him apart and expose him for the fool he is. The only problem is, being a self-righteous hardcore Christian right-wing nutjob, he will ignore the result and insist that, regardless of what the facts are, he is still in the right.

So, yeah, if you are all for idiots and morons, vote for Santorum.

 Posted by at 11:49 am

Happy 2012! I’ll tell you why every new year sucks.

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Jan 012012

So, according to the Mayan (or whatever) calendar, this is it. The very last year. According to Lane Meyer, it is also the year when the rich and privileged get to board giant boats in Nepal (or wherever) and perpetuate the human race using what are possibly its worst elements. Whatever.

However, the past four new years have brought about a different kind of suckitude. Don’t get me wrong! New year and all that stuff. Hooray! However, there is a little part of it that sucks, it will never be relieved and, sadly, it is one that I will always think about every new year.

It’s that goddamned calendar.

No, not that Mayan (or whatever) one. I’m talking about the regular one with twelve months, each month typically on the bottom and, typically, some photo of a kitten, scenery, or (in the case of Star Trek fanatics with the annual Ships of the Line calendar) a starship in poorly-rendered CGI on top.

You see, for a good portion of my life, every Christmas I would get a calendar from my mom. She would take the time to write all of the important dates in it for me. An important part of this is because my mom had that wacky-insane cursive writing that only children of her generation write with. Stylistic to the extreme and, at times, barely legible due to the personalized flourishes. Riddled throughout each calendar would be family birthdays, anniversaries… the works. As our family expanded, each consecutive year would feature new and important dates that meant something more than things like Columbus Day and shit like that. Another important part is, just like how I am good with faces but crap with names, I am also extremely bad with dates. I can only remember my sister Kiki’s birthday because it is two days before Halloween, I only now remember my dad’s birthday because it is on September 11th (which is also the same reason I now always remember Rich’s birthday) and, at first, I could only remember my girlfriend’s (now wife) birthday because it was 10 days before Ian’s.

Needless to say, this annual calendar was not only a gift to me from my mother, but it was also her way of holding my hand and helping me to remember the things I just kept forgetting.

For many years, this calendar was usually a Tolkien calendar, which was awesome. One year, she sent along a Normal Rockwell calendar, but that was when she was really sick, and probably didn’t have time to go out and look for a Tolkien one. Either way, they were always awesome and, if I am correct, they were something between me and her. I don’t know if she ever did this for my sisters (who, admittedly, are much better with dates than I am).

But that all stopped four years ago.

So that is why every new year brings both joy and sadness. Joy for the prospects of the future, with our first child (and the first ‘Sorley’ grandchild) due in March. Sadness because I know that my mom will never send me a new calendar with her hand-written dates and occasions strewn throughout.

And now I am going to throw a random quote at you because it is awesome. You may know it from Willy Wonka, but it is a bit older than that.

“We are the music makers. And we are the dreamers of the dreams.”

Happy New Year, everyone.


 Posted by at 2:06 am