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Cream of the Cool

There's an angel in the jar above my grandma's refrigerator.

It's a porcelain jar with red swirly vines painted on it, and it has a swirled sort of top that has a rubber stopper that pops open. It used to be on the coffee table, but when I was younger I kept trying to get into it. I don't remember that now, but she said I used to say it was humming at me. After that, she moved it to the fireplace mantle, but when my little brother Scotty and I…

Warning: self-pity and navel-gazing follows.

My 39th birthday is next month. This has me very much on edge. Depending upon how I've felt on past birthdays has dictated how I publicly acknowledge my birthday. Most come and go with the usual Facebook posts, messages from noders here, and maybe a note or two from my divorced parents.

This year, I'm just not feeling it. I have no intention of celebrating the last…

Privately-funded rights advocacy and civil society organization founded in the United Kingdom in 1990 in response to lack of accountability for victims of police violence, the growing use of paramilitary tactics against civilian protests in many states, and serious human rights violations by many Western military contractors in dealing with known despotic governments.

Omega has since grown into a multi-national effort that a)…

A horrifying beast. The smallsword, a meter-long, needle-sharp spike with a tiny hand guard, is what the rapier is usually caricatured as: an extremely light and quick blade suitable for the physically weak. It's not, however, for the faint of heart; the overriding sensation of picking up a smallsword is (for the somewhat practiced fencer) that something terrible is going to happen. This is because if you fight with sharp smallswords, something terrible is going to happen. The fatality rate per…