Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Mall of Cthulhu - Tentacles Everywhere!

I apparently visited the Mall of Cthulhu today.

So I'm out shopping for Cthmas presents.  I should be at work but I had to take the day off to get my hot water heater replaced.  There are 5 million people in this city.  What are the odds that I, Head Priest of the First United Church of Cthulhu of all people, should be the one to run across a random tentacle, dirty and discarded, lying in the middle of the parking lot of the movie theater?

Then after getting a fractally spirally Cinnabon, I noticed the green tentacles above me, strung everywhere for the festive Cthmas holiday season!  The beads and mirrored discs descending from the tentacles like dripping ocean water or seaweed as they reach and pull you down to Davy Jones' Foot Locker.

And did you know that Hot Topic is not just shitty screamo band t-shirts and studded belts?!?!  They have some pretty cool stuff from time to time.  They actually had a Cthulhu shirt!  I couldn't believe it.  Couldn't get a good pic of it, so here is the official one.  Okay, it's a lame ass cutesy Cthulhu shirt, but it's a step towards cosmic madness.

Synchronous tentacle action all day long!  Don't forget to check out the First United Church of Cthulhu and have yourself a merry little Cthmas now!

The Astronomicon minorem - DMT, Cthulhu and You is the unholy book of the First United Church of Cthulhu.  The Book of Devouring Stars was written by Khurt Khave, the FUCC's head priest and founding member.

Discover the chaos and madness of the order from the deranged leader who claims to have garnered his knowledge from Yog-Sothoth himself!  Also includes the artists, prophets, and psychonauts who make up the history of the actual religion of Cthulhu which dates as far back as 700 BC.  Lovecraft was only one mad prophet in our great lineage.

Learn how you can directly contact Cthulhu and the Great Old Ones. 

a physical copy

Nyarlathotep is waiting.


Friday, December 11, 2015

Know Your Tentacles!

I love tentacles! I love art! I love information! That's why it sucks when so many cool pictures, memes, and video clips get passed around with no tags at all as to their source. I kept seeing this picture or an animated gif of it reposted time and again but I kept forgetting the name of the film it was from. For some reason the animated gif is in black and white, and it is a period piece with era specific clothing and sets, so a lot of people think it is a much older film.

It is actually from 3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy, a 2011 Hong Kong 3D erotic costume drama. It is a new installment of the Sex and Zen series which is loosely based on The Carnal Prayer Mat, a Chinese erotic novel by 17th century author and playwright Li Yu.

It has been called “Crouching Tiger meets The Joy of Sex.”

Here is the trailer:

Here is the full film:

Cthulhu be praised!

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Headless Girl with the Tentacle Tattoo - she has a name

The Headless Girl with the Tentacle Tattoo – she has a name. And a head. And a full body. But you would never know it from all the social media reposts of the above picture. The same one has been recirculated through various blogs, websites, and group pages of numerous steampunk and Lovecraftian connoisseurs for years. She Who Cannot Be Named because none of these idiots could be bothered to take 2 seconds to do a Google search.
For those who don't understand the current obsession with everything tentacles, Jules Verne is considered one of the progenitors of what is known today as steampunk (alternate history, retrofuturism, blah blah go argue semantics somewhere else) and his famous work 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea featured a giant squid attack. And Lovecraft's most notorious cosmic terror god that lives outside of space and time is Cthulhu, who has a big tentacled cephalopodic head. Ursula from Disney's The Little Mermaid is often more identified with than Ariel the film's titular star.  And then the videos of the little suckers opening peanut butter jars and walking across the beach only add to the popularity.   And then there's Japanese hentai tentacle porn. Yeah, there's always tentacle porn. 

But I digress. Her name is FreyjaVeda. According to her tumblr she is the “owner of the Golden Axe Tattoo in London, Ontario. Amazonian Pin-Up model, snowboarder, metal head, traveler, Primal life. . .a cross between Uma Thurman, 50's Liz Taylor, and Weird Al.”

Excerpted from inkedmag.com:
But her signature tattoo is a kraken, whose beak circles her belly button and whose tentacles wrap up her chest and circle her breasts. “It's my gorgeous Mike Austin torso piece!” she says. “I wanted something huge and gnarly that flowed with my curves, and what better than tentacles? I'm super stoked on it. People actually recognize me by it now. It is a weird experience to have people run up to me at a convention with my boobs as their iPhone wallpaper and hold it up to me and shout, “It's her!”

And she comes out to Arizona for the Hell City tattoo fest, so as the head priest of the First United Church of Cthulhu located in said state, I think I should grant her some type of krakenous goddess status.  Or at least buy her a drink.  It's the least I can do for advancing the tentacle agenda.

The following video contains full nudity. You get to see everything, tattoos and all, up close and personal.

tsurufoto presents... But I Don't Want Anybody Else starring Freyja Veda from tsurufoto. on Vimeo.

P.S. She also has the crazy animated deer head from Evil Dead 2 tattooed on her. . .somewhere. Go find it!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Steampunk Dining in Phoenix, Arizona? - Taco Guild

Steampunk dining in Phoenix, Arizona? Not likely. Especially if you're dreaming of something as cool as the speakeasy styled Commonwealth in Las Vegas or the renovated power plant The Edison (Ugh! Terrible name! Don't they realize who that monster was?!?!) in Los Angeles. But we do have a few historical buildings which date back to before the turn of not the last century but the one before that. We're talking the 1800's here. And every once in awhile a mad chef gets his hands on one and resurrects the structure as a new eating establishment.

One such restaurant is the Taco Guild, located in the heart of Phoenix on the corner of 7th Street and Osborn. It is a converted and deconsecrated church with the original stained glass mural windows still intact. Constructed in 1893, it began its architectural life as a one-room schoolhouse, the Osborn School, and then became Smith's Chapel, named for its builders Mister and Misses George and Edna Smith. A year later they changed the name to Bethel Methodist Church, honoring Misses Smith's home church in Illinois. It retained the name until 2012 when it was finally vacated and deconstructed.

As their name would suggest, the staple of their menu is tacos, but with some great new takes on a bland standard and made with local, organic farm fresh ingredients. They also serve various salads and a few other selections of Mexican cuisine including a brunch menu with breakfast burritos and veggie omelets. But arguably the most important feature of the restaurant is the full bar. From Patrón to PBR and what they call Tequila Academia, learning to speak the language of tequila.

But a new religious faction has overtaken the Guild! A secret cabal (okay, a group of local authors, but how much can you trust someone who lives in their head and spends all day fabricating their own realities) known as the Holy Taco Church can be found holding their dark rituals, usually with extra hot sauce. Local steampunk author Beth Cato (The Clockwork Dagger, The Clockwork Crown, etc) is their High Priestess of Churromancy. Maybe you can become her tacolyte and learn her sugary secrets.

And for all your steampunk thrifting needs, located right next door to the Taco Guild is the Buffalo Exchange where you can buy, sell, or trade clothing, footwear, jewelry and other accessories. I found a very odd pair of ladies boots, Neo-Victorian in the worst way possible. The tops are knee-length Victorian styled boots (maybe they're supposed to represent tube socks) while the base I thought was faux spats is running shoes?!?!  The impracticality is astounding.  Made by Nike, of course. So, I guess they would be Victorian running boots. Stupid Nike.  I cannot find another pair in Google image search, so I have no idea what sport of athletic activity these would be for.  Ah, the joys of thrifting. 

The two stores share a parking lot. But it is rather small and usually full during peak hours for the restaurant. But there is plenty of parking in the adjoining neighborhood. You'll just have to walk a bit in the 115 degree heat. Valley of the Sun indeed.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Mad Tea Party Day!!!

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, an 1865 novel written by Lewis Carroll, introduced multiple characters which have become cultural icons.  Perhaps the most beloved scene is that of the mad tea party.
The party takes place on May 4th, so that is when we celebrate it!
Excerpted from the book:
"I've seen hatters before," she said to herself; "the March Hare will be much the most interesting, and perhaps as this is May it won't be raving mad--at least not so mad as it was in March."

The Hatter was the first to break the silence. "What day of the month is it?" he said, turning to Alice: he had taken his watch out of his pocket, and was looking at in uneasily, shaking it every now and then, and holding it to his ear.

Alice considered a little, and then said, "The fourth."

And there you have it - May 4th, Mad Tea Party Day!

"Clean cup!  Move down!"

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Steampunk Dragons Game - Flight Rising

Flight Rising is not a steampunk-specific game but the customizable aspect of being able to dress your dragon up in steampunk attire is a wonderful part, similar to various other virtual paper doll apps that are available online. It is a great piece of make-your-own steampunk art for those of us who love dragons and steampunk, and the combination of the two subgenres (normally called Gaslamp Fantasy), but don't have any real artistic ability to be able to create such characters on our own.
Flight Rising is a browser-based game where players lead an elemental clan of dragons and work with other clans to gain supremacy in the realm. It features dragon breeding, battles, adventures, item collection, and mini-games.
Breed dragons for thousands of breed, gene, and color combinations. Collect hundreds of items, including dragon apparel, skins, and familiars. Fight your dragons against monsters or other dragon clans by battling in the arena. Play a selection of mini-games to earn high scores and loads of treasure for your clan. Also participate in site-wide battles against the other elemental dragon flights for dominance of the realm.
Gameplay is similar to Neo Pets and the steampunk imagery is reminiscent of the dragon player characters from the Rifts and Palladium games. It's not a game that I would choose to play on a regular basis (get off the internet and go read a book, kid!) as I find all of these types of breeding/sim games to be dreadfully boring. But the artwork is beautiful. You can use it to make yourself a neato steampunk dragon to save as a background pic, screen saver, or avatar pic.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Something with Blood in the Title

Blood!  Blood!  Blood!
They crave it.  They desire it.  They scream for it.
Something with Blood in the Title is a collection of horror stories, murder poems, and creepypasta written by Khurt Khave (redundantly listed here, on his own site, so that the google bots can find and devour his electronic soul).  There are devils and angels, ghosts and faeries, sex, drugs, violence, and a little rock and roll.  It's all about burning churches and killing cops.  A twist of Victorian Poe, some biopunk body horror, and of course a touch of Lovecraft thrown in; after all, I am the head priest of the First United Church of Cthulhu.  Dozens of pictures and illustrations add to the madness and chaos!
What good this life without some tentacle action?
And, oh yeah, zombies, (super)naturally.  Can't forget the Girlfriend of the Living Dead.  Goodness knows she won't forget you.  Until she's finished.
How well do you really know your friends?  Who they really are.  The terrible things they may have done in the past.  Can you trust them?
Something with Blood in the Title features "My Friend the Serial Killer" a 25 page expose' on real life murderer Bryan Patrick Miller, aka the Arizona Zombie Hunter, including information the cops don't know and never before seen pictures.

The book also features "In Defense of Horror Films" a lost article by horror legend VINCENT PRICE which is just as poignant today as when it was originally written.

Something with Blood in the Title

You want blood?  You got it.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Khurt Khave - Bio & Events

Khurt Khave

Author of:

A Steampunk Guide to Tea Dueling -- steampunk game guide

Chainsaw Alice in Wonderland -- steampunk horror novel

Womanarchy -- poetry and art

Something with Blood in the Title -- horror anthology

Astronomicon minorem -- unholy book of the First United Church of Cthulhu
 Shub-Niggurath - The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young -- unholy book of the First United Church of Cthulhu *and* can be used as a massive grimoire in LARPs and RPGs

Urban Temples of Cthulhu - Modern Mythos Anthology -- collection of modern tales for the Cthulhu Mythos, editor and author of the included story "The Kings in Rebel Yellow"

Kill Those Damn Cats - Cats of Ulthar Anthology -- collection of tales featuring the nominal creatures from the Dreamlands originally featured in Lovecraft's tales "The Cats of Ulthar" and "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath," editor and author of "Jangling the Silver Keys"

Got a Bad Case of the Horribly Wrongs -- classic horror and punk rock meet the Cthulhu Mythos

Can Such Things Still Be?  Complete Literary Guide to the King in Yellow -- exactly what the title says

Scooby Doom versus the Cult of Cthulhu -- a Choose Your Own Adventure style book.
Choose from 47 possible endings, most resulting in death! Will it be yours?
With special guest Herbert West.

Pickman's App -- modern storyline continuations of Lovecraft's works Pickman's Model, Azathoth, and The Transition of Juan Romero are combined into a twisting tale of dark discoveries within the Oblivion Hearts world setting of the Cthulhu Mythos

Don't be a Cuntulu -- We all know one. Somebody who thinks they know everything about the Cthulhu Mythos – but they don't.  This is a Cthulhu Mythos poem for them.  A perfect birthday or Christmas gift when you don't know what to get them and you don't really like them either.

Hackergeist – Electronic Grimoire of Cybersigils of the Cthulhu Mythos -- The internet. It is everywhere and nowhere. Like the spirit realm. Like the Dreamlands. Like countless unseen worlds parallel to our own. It has become an alternate dimension unto itself; a living, growing system. One that cannot be stopped, or contained, or controlled, no matter what the preachers or the politicians tell you.  It has become a way for some entities to breach into our reality, to make contact with humanity; where thoughts become things, electric dreams become experiential, and vloggers become web gods.  Available in paperback or FREE pdf.

Don't Let Them Take You Alive - action horror roleplaying in the Modern Cthulhu Mythos.

The Kings in Rebel Yellow - First published in the Modern Cthulhu Mythos anthology Urban Temples of Cthulhu.  This is the story that redefined and solidified the Modern Cthulhu Mythos as its own distinct subgenre.

Venus of Cthulhu - The most accurate timeline of the Cthulhu Mythos on planet Earth.  Includes dozens of citations from Lovecraft's work as well as photos and information the Venus figures believes to have been worshiped in the ancient world and obviously depicting beings from other worlds.

Amalatharu:  Fibonacci Haiku of the Cthulhu Mythos

Dysphoria - an emotional state characterized by anxiety, depression, or unease.
Just a broken doll.  Will she ever find out who she really is?
Suicide.  Gender identity.  Body image.  Nightmares.  Bullying.  Peer Pressure.  Loss of the self.

Dizneyland Fhtagn - What is it about amusement parks that fascinates us?  Something beyond the flashing lights and plastic cartoon effigies.  It is a visceral place.  All the senses engaged, even overloaded.  One does not escape reality but instead enters an entirely new one, a waking dreamland.
Adventure lies just over the next hill.

Bat Boss - To save Arkham and Miskatonic University, Hector will become BAT BOSS!  Contains quick start rules for Don't Let Them Take You Alive.  Can be used as a one shot adventure in any other Modern Cthulhu Mythos or horror roleplaying game.

Detroit Apoc City - The city of Detroit has become a multidimensional warzone.  The United States military has sent in black ops to contain the area and eliminate any threats, whether cosmic or domestic.  Every day, more cultists and mad men pour into the city.  Horrific creatures from beyond space and time tear through realities only to emerge in the heart of Motown.  Whether you are here to harness the powers that are corrupting and destroying the city or you are here to stop it, you're in for the fight of your life!

Other Stuff 

Bad Goth Poetry - Series 2 -- features my poem "H.B.H.P." (about H. P. Lovecraft -- surprise, surprise)
Ladies of Steampunk magazine - January 2014 - interview about A Steampunk Guide to Tea Dueling

Phoenix magazine - February 2014 - interview about Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention

Corporate Event Professional Costumed Performer, Musician, Philanderer, Cosplayer, Debaucher, Event Coordinator and Promoter, former Bar/Club Owner, former Federal Law Enforcement Officer, Tea Dueling World Champion

Head Priest of the First United Church or Cthulhu -- visit us at FUCC.IT
Discordian priest -- Ultra Mega Pope Demostis, Miniboss of Eris, leader of the Xaos Punx
Dudeist priest of the Church of the Latter-Day Dude

Upcoming Events:

Leprecon 45 - April 18-21 2019

Phoenix Fan Fusion (formerly Phoenix Comicon) - May 23-26 2019

CoKoCon - August 30 - Septeber 2 2019

 Previous Events:

Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention 2013 -- Main Stage Director, Programming Assistant

Phoenix Comicon 2013 -- Steampunk Panels Overlord, Tea Dueling Champion

Scottsdale Civic Plaza Steampunk Art Exhibit opening night 2013 -- Tea Dueling Champion

Darkcon 2014 --
Event Coordinator, Programming Assistant, Panelist, Tea Dueling Host and Exhibition Fight Champion

Amazing Comicon 2014 -- Event Coordinator, Promoter, Panelist, Tea Dueling Host

Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention 2014 -- Mainstage Director, Chief of Marketing, Programming Assistant, Panelist

Leprecon 2014 -- Panelist, Programming Assistant, Tea Dueling Host and Exhibition Fight Champion

 Phoenix Comicon 2014 -- Steampunk Panels Overlord and Steampunk Fashion Show Maven, Panelist

Dinocon 2014 -- Panelist

Saboten Con 2014 -- Panelist

Wild West Fest 2014 -- fashion show judge

Fearcon 2014 -- Panelist

Comic and Media Expo 2014 -- Panelist

Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest 2014 -- Tea Dueling Host and Grudge Match Title Bout and still reigning Tea Dueling World Champion

Taiyou Con 2015 -- Panelist

Phoenix Comicon 2015 -- running the entire steampunk track.  First official public gathering of the First United Church of Cthulhu!!! 126 people packed the room beyond capacity!

Leprecon 2015 -- tea dueling, panelist

CMX Comic & Media Expo 2015 -- panelist

Mad Monster Party 2015 horror convention -- vending, drinking, debauching 

Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest 2015 -- tea dueling host

Leprecon 2016 -- tea dueing, panelist

Phoenix Comicon -- 

Saboten Con 2016 --panelist, got to see Ladybeard!

Previous AZPD Events:

H. P. Lovecraft Birthday Celebration 2014 -- Kraken rum and a viewing of Reanimator

Wild West Fest 2014 -- fashion show hosts

Grand Avenue Festival 2014 -- fashion show entries

Glendale Glitters 2014 raid and Christmas party

Pastafarian Ceremonial Dinner Party 2015

Anime Fest to avoid Super Bowl Mess 2015

Glendale Chocolate Affair 2015 raid

Lebowski Day / Kahlua Day 2015 -- toast and viewing

Time Travelers Weekend at the Arizona Renaissance Festival 2015 raid

Devcon 2015 raid

AZPD become Road Warrior -- cosplay and film event

Matsuri Festival 2015 raid

Wild West Con 2015

Easter Pussycat!  Chokillate!  Chokillate! -- April 4

Rex Manning Day -- April 8

Hahnenkämpfe (Cockfights) -- April 11

Mad Monster Party 2015 horror convention -- vending, drinking, debauching

Dreadful Halloween -- Octoberish

Dreadful Christmas / Cthmas party -- Dec 4 -- Cthulhu Claus showed up!!!

2nd Annual Pastafarian Ceremonial Dinner Party 2016

Matsuri Festival 2016 raid

Time Travelers Weekend at the Arizona Renaissance Festival 2016 raid

Wild West Con 2016

Devcon 2016 raid

Mad Monster Party 2016 raid

Phoenix Comicon 2016 -- panelists, running the entire steampunk track!

Keen Halloween 2016 -- panelists, raid

Phoenix Fan Fest 2016 raid

Fangoria Fearcon 2016 -- panelists, helped with con

Dreadful Halloween Party 2017

Dreadful Christmas Party 2017 -- the Grinch showed up!

3rd Annual Pastafarian Ceremonial Dinner Party 2016

Tucson Steampunk Society Tea Dueling - The “Dirty Weasel” - Troublemaker and Extraneous Champion, having soundly defeated the Red Queen 3-nil

Dangerous Worlds - steampunk band - vocals, tesla coil (needs fixin')

Monster Sex USA - industrial horror rock band - vocals, prog/fx, random instrumentation

Arizona Penny Dreadfuls (AZPD) -- founder

First United Church or Cthulhu (FUCC) -- founder
 Arizona Steampunk Society (AZSPS) -- member
AZ T.A.R.D.I.S. -- member
Arizona Browncoats -- member

Father of 3 - my kids are METAL!!!
Captain Rick’s Armor Party -Perverted Star Wars/Sci-fi Web comic (now defunct) - Creator and Graphic Artist
Death Guild Thunderdome Champion (2 fights)
Zombie Bikini Contest Winner - Most Scary
ASU East Charity Haunted House Decorator
Neighborhood Haunt Decorator and Performer
Founding member of CLAD (Cosplay Lovers and Dorks)

Friday, March 27, 2015

Doctor Who - Don't be a TARDis

My fellow sci-fi geeks, cosplayers, and steampunk enthusiasts; I, too, am a Doctor Who fan.  But as you can see in the picture above, phrasing is very important.  I fully support expressing your love for your fandom, but please be grammatically aware of how you do so. 

I belong to the Arizona Steamunk Society – AZSPS, not ASS. They are very aware and careful about that. Though many people in the group still tell me I am an ASS, wholesomely beloved. Awareness wins fights by avoiding situations which may instigation them.

I truly hope that the owner of the hat pictured above has graduated. Because wearing it down the halls of High School USA would be calling out for harassment, like wearing a big KICK ME sign. And we've all experienced the peer pressure and teen cruelty of similar situations.

I have my own custom Doctor Who shirt that a friend made for me, the only thing printed on it is the circular Gallifreyan language. Which, when you think about it, is kind of like the modern sci-fi lover's version of hippy tie dye. It doesn't actually say Doctor Who on it anywhere, so it's great when a fellow fan realizes what it is, gives that little knowing nod, and says, “nice shirt.”

My 7-year-old daughter told her brother, “Don't be a fucktard.” He told her that's not a real word. She educated him that, “it means you're being a fucking retard.” All I could do was laugh and explain to him that she was correct. So tard is very much a part of the young people's vernacular. Which is why you should never wear a hat or any other article of clothing that has tard as its only identifiable root word.

And yes, my children do cuss like sailors. They pick it up from their mother. You can especially hear their mother's voice in their inflection, “Awww, mutha fucka!” Merika. Freedom of speech. But since I only have them every other weekend, there's no way I'm going to be able to curb their use of colorful metaphors. So I have made sure that they understand the difference between formal and familiar language, that they know they can speak openly at dad's house without being judged or chastised but calling someone a stupid bitch at school on the playground at lunchtime is NOT acceptable.

Hey, sometimes a stupid bitch is a stupid bitch. That's life.

But I digress.

The point is, know the difference between showing the love for your fandom and inviting ridicule upon yourself in any of various social situations. Now, if someone made fun of me, or one of my friends in my presence, I'd be knocking a mother fucker out. But many of my fellow geeks do not have that capacity or luxury. Be safe, yo. Peace.

My Galli-fuckin-freyan shirt.  Yeah, I need to iron the damn thing.  Shut up!  Bully! 

Friday, March 20, 2015


Womanarchy – female empowerment, women rule. Everyone has a cause they feel strongest about. Feed the children. Save the whales. Mine just happens to be equality and an end to domestic violence (preventing violence in the home will hopefully have a world-altering ripple of reducing and eliminating all other forms of violence). Especially now that I have daughters of my own. Our parents' generation fucked over the entire planet. We failed to save it. Now we have to fix it for the next generation.

A major portion of the verse contained in Womanarchy became song lyrics. I was the singer/head noisician in an industrial punk band named Crowd Violence (not just political and social, but emotional and psychological crowding as well). A lot of the lyrics were about body issues, depression, suicide, abuse, infidelity, and so on. But the key element they all posed was HOPE. Like when Pandora opened her box and let out all the evils into the world, there left at the bottom was HOPE. That is the one thing you must never lose, must never give up.

That was the era of Myspace. I had over 14,000 friends. The band was huge in the Australian underground punk scene apparently. The internet eliminates all borders.

People who needed my music, found it. My words had meaning. I became a one man online teen suicide hotline. I would have as many as eight messenger windows open at once. The most often mentioned statement was that for the first time in their life they didn't feel alone. That they weren't the only ones going through such tragic events.

Many were contemplating suicide. Others were in the act while we spoke. Holding a razor in their hand, or a bottle of sleeping pills by the bedside, or searching the internet on how to tie a noose—then they stumbled across me.

They had the anonymity of the web which allowed them to be completely honest, completely open, with me as well as with themselves.

I always said, “Tell me why you want to kill yourself.” Then I would listen to what they had to say, possibly the first person in their entire lives who actually listened to them. Then I would say, “Now tell my why you don't.”

And that's when the change would happen. We would talk about their hopes, their dreams, their goals, their accomplishments. We would figure out what needed to be different, to be better, or to be done with. I was always truthful. I never promised that everything would be alright. But I convinced them to try. Give it one more year. Two. Five.

You can kill yourself anytime, but you can't come back from it. Think of all the things you haven't done yet, haven't experienced.

They said they would try. Music, singing, writing, acting, drawing, dancing—living. Whatever their passion was. They would give it time. Concentrate on the good things and let the bad things fade away. Be safe. Be happy.

And by their own admission, because of my words, they chose not to kill themselves that night. My “art” saved dozens of people's lives. There is no higher achievement than that.


Alfred Kubin was an Austrian illustrator who is considered an important figure in the Symbolism and Expressionism art movements. Noted for his macabre and fantastic imagery, sadly, his work is generally unknown. He suffered from depression, attempting suicide on his mother's grave in 1896 and suffering a nervous breakdown in 1903. He wrote and illustrated the novel The Other Side in 1909, inspired by the death of his father. He also illustrated works by Edgar Allan Poe, E.T.A. Hoffmann and Fyodor Dostoevsky.

All artwork in Womanarchy is that of Alfred Kubin. His hauntingly beautiful imagery fits perfectly with my words. His body of work is very poorly cataloged. Many galleries and art houses displaying or selling Kubin's original prints often have them mislabeled, misdated, or even inaccurately listed as untitled. I searched countless months through unmarked electronic galleries, private research papers, and unlisted museum pdf's for names, dates, and quality images.

The pictures in the book represent the best of his work. He has a large amount of work not included here which I encourage you to seek out.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Train Cats of Mesa Arizona

In my pursuit of finding interesting places of steampunk interest and historical significance in Arizona (which are quickly dwindling as the city of Phoenix especially likes to yell “eminent domain!” and sling their wrecking balls around willy-nilly, knocking down buildings left and right regardless of the historical value of the property, so that they can put in another parking lot and charge $20 a spot on game nights. Which is still better than Tempe, they just knock 'em down and leave the space as dirt lots with no plan beyond trying to schmooze out-of-state investors to Buy! Buy! Buy! more real estate) I kept hearing about “that one train” in Mesa.

It is actually steam locomotive #2355, built October, 1912, for the Southern Pacific Railroad. It is a Class T-31, ten-wheeler, 4-6-0, built as a dual service locomotive for smaller passenger and freight trains. The #2355 was retired in 1957 after 45 years of service. Originally headed for the scrapyard, it was instead given to the City of Mesa to exhibit.

Isn't this supposed to be about cats? Where are the cats?

Yeah, yeah. I'm getting there.

Locomotive #2355 was placed in Pioneer Park, located at 526 E. Main Street in Mesa, Arizona. The train engine was fenced in, in 1993, probably due to squatters and vandalism since it sits very far back in the park away from the busy Main Street and the immediate neighborhoods were in decline, even though it is right across the street from the überkirche of the Mesa Arizona Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (read: Mormons, if you didn't know what all that meant), itself established in 1927.

 Apparently #2355 is succumbing to the elements. The Save Our Train Committee (saveourtrain.com) was formed from a group of Mesa residents and city employees who grew up with the locomotive and are dedicated to restoring the steam engine and relocating it to the front of the park on Main Street (where hopefully it could live out its days unfenced, as free range locomotives are the best kind, and then would open it up for a ton of steampunk photoshoots).

But the cost of restoration and relocation has been professionally estimated at between $100,000 - $125,000. Which brings us to the point and title of our story. That move is probably never going to happen, but on the upside, the engine has become a sanctuary for the homeless cats of the neighborhood, where they can seek shelter behind the safety of the fence and beneath the belly of the locomotive. A large plastic tray filled with cat food has been set inside the fence, and out of reach from human harassers. It is weighed down by a large rock to keep it from tipping or blowing over, so this is not the anonymous caretaker's first cat rodeo. And there is a child's bucket filled with fresh water for them to drink.

 There were about a dozen of the choo-choo mew-mews milling about during my visit.  At least someone is taking care of the itinerant steam cats.

This was the friendly greeter for the group of train cats.
I'mma call it Smokestack, because trains.
This cat was napping up on the locomotive.  My taking pictures interrupted.
A different orange cat beneath the train engine.
A black cat curled up safely behind the fence.
My phone didn't capture it very well, but there is a fantastic diagram
of all the parts of a steam locomotive.
You can see their purple water bucket under the stairs
where people used to be able to walk up and experience train firsthand.

Steampunk Tea Dueling

A Steampunk Guide to Tea Dueling has been BANNED IN BRITAIN! The British Steampunk Community (the Facebook group, not the whole island) and the Honorable (used very loosely) Association of Tea Duelists are irate that an upstart American is the tea dueling world champion and has turned their civilized (read: boring) pastime on its ear!

The old rules were absurdly confounding, or one could venture so far as to say confoundingly absurd, so we took the Tiffin Tosser and the rest of the poorly worded tripe and got rid of it! Now the game is fun and exciting!

Check out teadueling.com

A Steampunk Guide to Tea Dueling will teach you how to play in a clear, precise manner as well as including 40 alternative and additional rules to add variety and even more amusement. There are also over 30 tips, tricks, and pro techniques to insure your victory, whether in the free-for-all tea gang fight scenario of Last Man Nomming or a one-on-one duel on the field of tea. The tea dueling champion of Phoenix Comicon 2014 used the pointers in this book to secure his triumph with these ironclad techniques.

“It was on the tip of everyone's tongue, Tyler and I just gave it a name.”

A multitude of food competitions having evolved through the years, many stemming from the county fairs of the 19th century (well what do you know, more era appropriate steampunk activities in which to partake for the pompous among you who thrive on nothing but period accuracy—lighten up, trug nuggets). Baking competitions, pie eating contests, and bobbing for apples now joins the modern day pastimes of speed eating, televised cake decorating, the Tim Tam Slam, Oreo dunking, and even tea dueling.

So anyone who says they invented tea dueling is a right ruddy bludget. And for any loyals to the Crown who may still be harboring disdain, Statute FL-108 of the Copyright Law of the United States of America states thusly, “Copyright does not protect the idea for a game, its name or title, or the method or methods for playing it. Nor does copyright protect any idea, system, method, device, or trademark material involved in developing another game based on similar principles.” Don't let any British brasser tell you how to take your tea.

Oreos at the tea party – tea dueling since the 80's

We do things a little bit differently in Arizona steampunk. And the Welsh tea dueling rules? Uff da! Those are right out, unless you like doing accounting homework during tea! What a bunch of dollymop lollipops, I tell ya.

I have hosted tea dueling events numbering upwards of 150 people. We do not have leisurely, politesse duels, ours are theatrical, electrifying rounds of berzerker dunking! It is not a spectator sport, it is a combat sport! We involve as many of the audience as possible in the time allotted and the splodges really fly when the biscuit battles are going full tilt. If you're bored we'll deliver your last rites – because you're dead!

If you're in Phoenix, hit me up, Khurt Khave, on Facebook. The Arizona Penny Dreadfuls want you for tea dueling!