Some stuff I've read recently:

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore:

    Predictably hilarious. Christopher Moore has yet to disappoint. This is the story of Jesus's childhood, and answers the important theological question, "What if Jesus knew Kung Fu?"

The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror by Christopher Moore:

    Also awesome. An inept angel tries to grant a child's Christmas wish and ends up unleashing an army of the undead, to be fended off by (among others) a stoner Sheriff and his schizophrenic ex-B-movie scream-queen girlfriend.

Camouflage by Joe Haldeman:

    I liked this book a lot. It's a story about an immortal shape-shifting amnesiac alien who crashed on earth a million years before Humanity existed, who eventually works its way up the food chain and starts trying to be a person. It's a really interesting story, kind of an inside-out take on the Turing Test. It's a pretty short book, and I wish it was longer. The parts where the alien is trying to learn to fit in could have done with a Stephenson level of longwindedness; I wanted to hear a lot more about that. Still, good book.

Guardian by Joe Haldeman:

    Entertaining, but not terribly memorable. It's only barely science fiction at all; mostly it's a very episodic story of a woman travelling across country to join the Gold Rush shortly after the Civil War.

The Coming by Joe Haldeman:

    A story of the politics leading up to a first-contact in a near-future even-more-corrupt and fundamentalist Florida. It's kind of depressing. In the way newspapers are depressing.

Schild's Ladder by Greg Egan:

    This is about an artificially-created black hole (sorta) that starts swallowing the universe, and a bunch of scientists trying to figure it out. It's one of the most boring books I've read in a long time. Mostly it's just exposition from the author about a theory of physics where everything is running on top of a "Life"-like cellular automaton, and we're all made up of glider guns or something. I don't know enough about quantum physics to know which parts of this he just made up, and really, I didn't care.

    There is no characterization to speak of, and all of the players are emotionless, condescending godlike immortals with multiple redundant backups, so it's impossible for any of them to ever be in any kind of danger. It was amazingly boring (but thankfully, wasn't very long).

    I picked this up because I thought I remembered liking Egan's Permutation City, but then I later realized that I had hated Permutation City, and had just confused it with Circuit of Heaven by Dennis Danvers (which I liked a lot).

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DNA Lounge: Wherein the tagger rant is presented once more.

You wouldn't believe (or maybe you would) how many colossally impractical Rube Goldberg suggestions I got about that TV business. You're all a bunch of dorks.

So, it's time for the bi-annual tagging rant again.

A couple months ago, yet another shit-worm vandal carved his fancy pirate name all over the men's bathroom: in foot high letters on the mirror, and all over the tile walls. We replaced the mirror the next day, but it took us another two months to find someone able and willing to replace the tile. (One or two tiles we can do ourselves, but to essentially re-tile a whole wall, it's nice to have someone who actually knows what they're doing.)

I was going to show you some pictures of the damage, but I figure that our needle-dicked friend might just consider that a victory condition, and you know, that'd be bad. So instead, here's what the repairs-in-progress look like:

This piece of human debris cost me $2,500 in repairs.

Every time this happens, I ask the guys, "so, remind me why we're still doing hiphop events?" (This shit doesn't happen exclusively at hiphop events, but mostly.) The answer, of course, is that the rich suburban white kids love their hiphop. It turns out that most of those events would still be profitable even if we had to re-tile the bathrooms weekly.

The most frustrating part, though, is that we don't. Most of the damage to the club goes un-fixed for a long time, largely due to our inability to find people to actually do the work. So these events come with this big hidden cost that is not reflected on the balance sheet: essentially we're selling off our fixtures and not replacing them. "We made $X, we spent $Y, and oh, we'll also throw in a bathroom stall door and three faucets, no charge."

Some nights, we've even stationed someone in the bathrooms. That's right, a full shift's worth of salary just to have security stand there and prevent the children from writing on the walls. It's cheaper than fixing it.

There were a few less traumatic changes this week, too: we finally filled in the gaps under the stage stairs. They used to have blue plastic in them (that was left over from the Old DNA, actually) but it was pretty crappy looking, and mostly kicked in; it also served as a hard-to-clean trash graveyard. So now they're just solid wood, painted black. Also, some of the side wall panels are now painted white instead of black, the idea being that it'll make it easier to do projections on them.

Come see Amish Rake Fight & Micronaut on tuesday. Please stop fucking up my bathroom. That is all.