For all your goblin soap opera needs! I wasn't planning to set up a separate blog for Brazen Hearts, but that's the easiest way to make it into a podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking on one of these icons below:

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"New" copy of Dungeons & Dayjobs on ebay, only 99 cents! Where are these people getting new copies? I have seen zero reviews of this book so far, even on amazon, but two people have felt it worth their time to try selling "new"(ish) copies on ebay and amazon auctions. It's indirectly some of the most positive feedback I have received so far!
Brazen Hearts, Fresh, On Sticks
Goblin romance soap opera, not pretty. Josie is your typical young goblin, selling freshly-grilled human hearts outside the mall, trying to survive her violent goblin family, and pining after that big, dreamy hobgoblin who just sauntered into town. Each week she describes part of her story to you, another human whose heart she will soon be selling on a stick.

Hopefully this will be a podcast serial which you can subscribe to, as soon as I can figure whether odeo or iTunes is better for hosting this kind of thing. (Do either of them host mp3 files at all?) Got to work out all the logistics.

The reason for this is I noticed that I dictate a lot of notes for stories, and then I neglect to transcribe my verbal notes for a long time, and then I forget where I'm at so I can't make progress with that story. I figured if I could just improvise a story, take that straight dictation and polish it a little to make a podcast, it would be fun and quick and I'd feel less pressure to find optimal word choice, or to have a brilliant hook in the first paragraph, whatever. Just blurt something, cut it off after ten minutes, leave them wanting more in the next episode.

So download that first episode at the link above. It's 5.6 Mb mp3. I'll put up RSS info or whatever later when I straighten it all out. Might use some old Lucky's Radio Theatre shows somewhere down the line, but not until I've done several episodes of Brazen Hearts, Fresh, On Sticks.


Who else has a new copy? I'm constantly checking the web to see if anyone has reviewed or discussed Dungeons & Dayjobs. I checked the listing on to see if anyone might have reviewed it there, and discovered to my surprise that someone from Mt. Clemens, Michigan is selling a "new" copy for $4.70! That's totally amazing. I don't want to dissuade people from reselling it or from buying cheaper copies than the ones I'm trying to sell, but this copy comes from either one of the copies I've sold directly (meaning it's used), or else it's one of the review copies I've sent to local magazines or newspapers (meaning $#!*&, why didn't you at least review it before trying to profit off it?!!?!). Suppose I should have scrawled one of those annoying disclaimers on them like "REVIEW COPY ONLY - NOT FOR RESALE"? You know, the kind you see on all the CDs and books and junk at thrift stores?

Ah well. This is actually kind of encouraging. I've felt bad that there has been no groundswell of people rushing to buy Dungeons & Dayjobs, no international bestseller lists just yet. But it would be an interesting threshold if someone actually bought a used copy of my book. I don't know why. It's just the thought that someone had enough confidence in my book to list it on amazon, as if there might be an audience of people wanting to buy it used. Be the first person EVER to buy a used book written by Rob Northrup!

(By the way, if you're thinking of buying it new, I'll get more profit if you buy through If you buy it through amazon, they'll eat up some of my profit.)

Oh yeah, and my first promotional success: today's issue of the Chelsea Standard has my photo on page B-1 next to the article "Chelsea grad pens book." Get you some copies of that too!


No Background Music
Get it quick, they'll take it down within a week. BBC's Play of the Week starring Sigourney Weaver. "For 'No Background Music', playwright Normi Noel interviewed numerous former nurses over a twelve year period, and has reworked their stories into a compelling narrative with a single character, 'Penny', at the heart. The result is a powerful and chilling portrait of the role of combat nurses in the Vietnam War."
If I published something that needed a sports column, the one I'd try to syndicate would be Dave Zirin's Edge of Sports. For a topic that I thought was completely worthless, bread-&-circus pabulum, this guy really cuts to the ignored social issues in sports and manages to be hilarious in the process.

For example, Whiteblindness, the Olympics and Racism at ESPN: "Comparing Gumbel to Limbaugh is like comparing apples to an obese drug addict."


Social worker testifies in baby slay case

"A woman accused of cutting off the arms of her 10-month-old daughter stopped psychiatric treatment months before the baby's death because of an error with her state-sponsored insurance, a social worker said."

"When Mrs. Schlosser arrived for the appointment, she was advised that she had been dropped from the Northstar program and was going to have to pay for her appointment," said Jamie Burrus, the family's Child Protective Services caseworker.

Schlosser was not taking her anti-psychotic medication or seeing any doctors at the time of the slaying.

Melinda gets credit for finding this story. As far as I'm concerned, insurance agents have officially sunk below lawyers in their status as disgusting leeches. I have more respect for diseased ticks.

Then again, it's money and it's hospitals. Doctors talk all this crap about the Hypocratic oath, then they turn away patients who don't have enough money. Can you people go back to Ethics classes for a while and spend a few hours talking about why you're putting profits before people? If they cared about helping people, then love of money would not get in the way of their treating everyone who asked for help.

This woman cutting her baby's arms off is a logical result of a system that demands money before it helps people. If we enjoy our neighbors dying early and unnecessarily and killing each other because of obvious illnesses, then we should support the status quo.


Radical combat veteran Stan Goff tears into the Cheney shooting, rips out the underlying issues of gender, race and class:

'Dick Cheney has constructed himself as a hunter... consistent with his supposedly intimidating predator image....

'One need merely note the symbolic exhibitionism of consumer masculinity all around us to see why this has been so politically effective. Gym-rat WWF musculatures that don't exist in nature, SUVs the size of small tanks jacked up on giant wheels, t-shirts that declare "Insurance by Smith and Wesson," and as we scale the class ladder the more subtly stated accoutrements of masculine dominance, from the "corrective" tailoring of the man's suit to the Valexta briefcase. Masculinity itself is more often than not a game of dress-up, a pose, the ultimate life sentence of tough-guy theatricality for men.

'In an era when even the American male working class is as commonly found in an office cubicle as a factory, when we spend an average of 7.5 hours a day in our homes with televisions on, drinking in this cognitive data stream of fantasy gender-norms, when we live in places called Fox Run with no foxes, Deer Park with no deer, Sleepy Hollow that is in fact a bulldozed lot built over with masonite boxes, it's little wonder that even the old oppressive masculinities — at least actually connected with where one lived and what one did for a living — have given way to costume-consumer masculinity....

'The fact that this is a country where a large number of men — many who vote Republican — actually do have more than passing familiarity with firearms, and actually know the basic safety measures that are required to properly handle them, is now a problem for Dick Cheney. Many of us learned firearms in the military, and since the mid-eighties there have been very sharp penalties in the military for "accidental discharges." The military learned, slower than most, that there are two simple rules that will prevent the accidental discharge of a weapon and the collateral damage that can result.

(1) Never place your finger on the trigger until you have aligned the sights on a target.
(2) Never point the weapon at anything until you have identified it as something you intend to shoot.

'However pathological the macho death-cult of guns is in this country, the people who have taken the trouble to learn anything about firearms at all now know that Cheney is what my dad used to call a pig-hunter and a fool that traipsed around after his "one beer" lunch on the quail preserve with his finger on the trigger. He's no more a hunter than Bush is a cowboy.'
Joseph Conrad lets a little cynicism slip through in Lord Jim:
"Jim's father [the parson] possessed such certain knowledge of the Unknowable as made for the righteousness of people in cottages without disturbing the ease of mind of those whom an unerring Providence enables to live in mansions."

Talking about Stein, a rich, old merchant who had gone exploring when he was younger: "There were very few places in the Archipelago he had not seen in the original dusk of their being, before light (and even electric light) had been carried into them for the sake of better morality and -- and -- well -- the greater profit, too."


Re-Calibrate Your News Source
I noticed that some descriptions today said that the UN report had "strong words" about Guantanamo or that they condemned practices there, whatever. Some of them buried the lede or neglected to mention: "The United States Government should close the Guantanamo Bay detention facilities without further delay." Did your news source just mention the report was against Guantanamo, or did it mention that they recommend closing it?
The quest for culture (opinion piece in the Jackson Citizen Patriot: "It is a lively but annoying fiction that Jackson is a city of philistines -- those who disdain art and culture. . . ."

How do you know if someone thinks you're a philistine? The person defines the word "philistine" because you probably don't know it.


Latest news is that there's a class-action lawsuit on behalf of stockholders against the company where I work. Management assures us it's not an Enron type problem, which is probably what Enron told their peeps when they were blowing up, or like Vader probaby phoned-in to all the stormtroopers who were stuck on the Death Star and asking for permission to get in the escape pods just before the Rebels put their torpedo down the whatever shaft. Maybe not like that. I'm hoping they're right. (Management, not Vader.)

In other news, I now have copies of Dungeons & Dayjobs for sale on consignment at ALL THE BETTER BOOKSTORES. Namely at Downtown News & Books in Asheville, NC, Serendipity Paperback Book Exchange in Chelsea, MI, and Nostalgia Ink in Jackson, MI. Over 66% of the people who accepted it were not old high school friends of mine. It's probably not worth bragging about, because consignment is really low-risk for the store. If the books don't sell, then they return them to me and I'm stuck with the cost of them. However, it's nice to know that a few bookstores are willing to sacrifice shelf-space and maybe a little of their credibility by having my book in stock.


The Marginally Related to Dungeons & Dayjobs department
In real life, you might not find a museum hidden in a crack in the wall of a pizza joint, but you can find
a furnished two-bedroom apartment in a storm drain.
Abortion = selecting yourself out of the gene pool.
"I've actually read in the Daily Telegraph where a certain imam from the Lakemba mosque actually said that Australia is going to be a Muslim nation in 50 years' time. I didn't believe him at the time but when you actually look at the birthrates and you look at the fact that we are aborting ourselves almost out of existence...."
--Australian MP Danna Vale

These people are way behind. I had this idea 14 years ago in high school. I had mixed feelings about abortion, which most people still do. I thought it was immoral under some circumstances, but trying to legislate against it creates all kinds of problems, like encouraging unsafe abortions. So I thought about it in terms of natural selection: if there are genes for the kind of people who are willing to have abortions, let them have abortions and the genes will eventually be selected out!

That's a fairly simplistic view of why people have abortions, though. Some people will have one abortion and later have children, or a poor woman with a lot of children might feel she can't support another one, so she'll have an abortion. There are probably lots of reasons or situations I'm not imagining, but it wouldn't work that clearly, even if you wanted it to.

For the same reason, I don't think liberals around the world or the vaguely racist liberals in Australia have much to worry about. [For one thing, why would it be horrible if Australia became a Muslim nation? WASPs in the US have always fretted over a similar "threat" here in America, that Spanish will become the majority language in a few decades and the average skintone of Americans will be a little darker even without tan-in-a-bottle. Big friggin deal. Hate to tell you, but unless you have a pedigree, you probably have some mix of lighter and darker skintones in your background, not to mention cro-magnons or homo epicurious or whatever the hell. Think back on how many of your distant ancestors probably had children through systematic rape, maybe it will take your mind off the "threat" of your country ceasing to be whitebread.]

Anyways, Australia can stop freaking out, because if you give enough Muslims access to abortion, they'll holler and condemn it for ages, but just like the right-wing Christians, I bet they'll quietly use it. I don't mean that as a slam against Muslims. It's just human nature. Think of all the religious groups that condemn the use of alcohol, smoking, drugs, Mormons even have a disdain for caffeine. Now do a headcount of how many Amish meth dealers there are, seriously. Has Islam eradicated alcoholism in their Islamic communities? Have Mormons eradicated alcoholism or drug-use or caffeine abuse? American Christians certainly haven't been able to, even though they've talked against it for years. For the religious groups who fight against abortion, have they eradicated abortion among their members? I doubt it.

That's why the Wall Street Journal article above is absurd. The survey asks how many people close to you have had abortions, and they find that Republicans report fewer than Dems. It seems to show that Dems are gradually reducing their own numbers through abortions. But are people always honest in surveys? Abortion carries a stigma, so people don't want to admit that their close friends or family have had them, even to some anonymous, clinical poll-taker. And would you really know if the people close to you have had abortions? Isn't it possible they've withheld that from each other? A lot of people wouldn't know how many abortions their close relatives had, even if they were willing to tell the truth about it.

I wouldn't say that Republicans are more likely to be liars in general, but they probably have a higher stigma attached to abortion, so they're more likely to lie about this, and their family or friends are less likely to share it with them. (How many Democratic grandchildren tell their Republican grandparents about their abortions?)

So the surveys are skewed, and even if they were right, I had the same wrong idea long before them.


Here's the old monitor casing that I buried in my front flowerbed:
flowering monitor

And here's an apple PIErate I made a while ago:
apple PIErate 2


Unrelated interesting news & misc:
1. I sent a check to pay off my car this morning! This is the first large-but-finite bill that I've seen the end of in my adult life. Mileage is 140k, so I'm planning to save up all this money that I would have been putting on car payments, in case it starts needing major repairs in a few months. But it feels nice.

2. Sun Ra and The Blues Project Do Batman and Robin (MP3s).

3. ProQuest Company to Restate Historical Financial Statements (from press release on
ANN ARBOR, Mich., Feb 09, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- ProQuest Company (NYSE: PQE), a publisher of information and education solutions, announced that during a review related to its internal controls assessment required by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the company discovered material irregularities in its accounting. As a result, the company intends to restate certain of its previously issued financial statements.

The accounting irregularities that have been identified primarily affect ProQuest's Information and Learning division. ...


Not to be confused with frottage or people who smoke frop.
Who's Your Führer?
Perusing Google news headlines, I noticed a crescendo of Hitler accusations lately. Here's a round-up of recent politicians and pundits accusing each other of being Hitler or like Hitler.

4 FEB 2006: "[German Chancellor] Angela Merkel yesterday likened hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Adolf Hitler, saying the world must act now to stop him before his country developed a nuclear bomb." (Who better to make that comparison than the modern person filling the same position that Hitler once held in the same nation?)

4 FEB 2006: "The imperialist, genocidal, fascist attitude of the U.S. president has no limits. I think Hitler would be like a suckling baby next to George W. Bush," [Venezuelan President Hugo] Chavez said from a stage decorated with a huge red image of himself as a young soldier.

2 FEB 2006: "I mean, we've got Chavez in Venezuela with a lot of oil money," [Secretary of "Defense"] Rumsfeld added. "He's a person who was elected legally — just as Adolf Hitler was elected legally — and then consolidated power and now is, of course, working closely with Fidel Castro and Mr. Morales and others."

5 FEB 2006: "While stumping in Netanya on Sunday, Likud Chairman MK Benjamin Netanyahu compared Hamas' victory in Palestinian parliamentary elections last week to the rise of the Nazis in Germany in the 1930s."

25 JAN 2006: "Fidel Castro directed a vast protest march past the US mission in Havana, leading many thousands of cheering Cubans who carried signs equating US President George Bush with Adolf Hitler and accused the United States of preparing to free one of the hemisphere’s worst terrorists."

24 JAN 2006: Senior has-been at the American Enterprise Institute Newt 'Gingrich said during an exclusive interview with HUMAN EVENTS, "This is 1935 and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is as close to Adolf Hitler as we've seen. We now know who they are; the question is who we are -- are we Baldwin or Churchill?" '
(When a person has been knocked on conscious, doctors often ask questions to confirm how badly you've been hurt such as what year is it, who is the president, what's your name? Gingrich thinks it's 1935 and he's not sure if he and his friends are Baldwin or Churchill.)

Here's one for Auntie A. 26 JAN 2006: "Some viewers are calling for censorship of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation after the publicly-funded broadcaster juxtaposed the word 'Heil,' a word associated with Hitler, next to [New Canadian Prime Minister] 'Harper' in its evening television news broadcast, The National."
(Okay, this one's just conservative Canadians grabbing for straws. CBC apologizes and claims it was a typo on some background graphic.)

16 JAN 2006: Spectre of Hitler invoked by Tories, Liberals. Here's a more comprehensive article of various Canadian conservatives and liberals comparing each other to Hitler.

6 JAN 2006: The Chinese Communist Party is "evil like Hitler" according to some Chinese people living in New Zealand. (Sorry. I was running out of examples.)


ABC Plans to Tape-Delay the Super Bowl, since Mick Jagger is known to go around with an unbuttoned shirt blowing in the artificially generated wind, and no one wants to see old man nipples.


PPU vol 1 front cover finalPunk Pals Unwashed, Volume I
Compilation of the first seven issues of Punk Pals Unwashed, a print zine I put out from 1995-2000. "Mail From People Who Don't Crochet." It was meant to carry free ads for freaky pen pals. It also worked as an outlet for my articles and doodles and collage. Most importantly, Punk Pals Unwashed cured my virginity! This free eeeeeeee-book is available in glorious black and white as if fresh off the xerox machine, except for one or two pages in color. It's an ungodly 51Mb pdf file, but worth every hour spent downloading it. Not recommended for associates under 17.