Little-known facts about the colossal squid


  • The colossal squid, Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni is thought to grow even larger than the giant squid (Architeuthis dux). Despite this fact, few people have ever heard of it.

  • This is because few people ever descend to depths below 1000 m in Antarctic waters, where it lives; not even squid fans.
  • Because of this, nothing is known about its life history, diet, or behavior.
  • Until now.
  • Life history: the colossal squid grew up in a blue-collar household.
  • Diet: yo-yo, alas. The cabbage soup diet worked best, but the squid’s brain was so glucose starved it was delirious towards the end, and never really recovered. Also, it is tired of running sushi.
  • Behavior: the colossal squid likes to float deep underwater, looking up at the sun, which looks blue from that depth.
  • Once it watched a young woman sitting on a dock at sunrise. She didn’t know she was being watched (of course not: the squid was a thousand meters underwater; remember this the next time you feel you’re being watched) and was happy. The colossal squid often recalls the scene, because the memory of her happiness makes it happy, too.
  • Just when the colossal squid finds itself getting used to the idea of being a failed, miserable, unknown nobody, it is reminded that it is a hero to its children.
  • Anatomy: the colossal squid does not have a hectocotylus (an arm used to transfer spermatophores to the female). Generally, species that lack a hectocotylus have a relatively large penis. The colossal squid has been known to mention this at cocktail parties, after a couple martinis.
  • The colossal squid makes up 77% of the biomass found in sperm whale stomachs.


There is a big chestnut tree outside my office window. The leaves look sick. Maybe it’s infested by that moth that’s been killing them off. The sky is blue and the air is crisp. A breeze just blew through and all the chestnuts rumbled to the ground. Then everything was still again.


It is 7.10 on a Sunday morning. Everyone else is asleep. The red cat is asleep on an afghan my mother crocheted in the living room. An afghan blanket, right, not an Afghan person or an Afghan hound. It is less interesting but quieter. And my mother crocheted it in her living room, not mine, but then she gave it to us and it has been in our living room since then. The grey cat I’m not sure about, it wanted back outside after I fed it. The turtle I sure hope is sleeping, haven’t seen it lately and it’s been cold. Sure hope it’s sleeping.
The humans are all asleep.
They all expect me to go to the bakery this morning. There is one bakery in a nearby town that is open Sunday mornings. You can go there and buy goodies for Sunday morning breakfast, which is on the one hand nice, and on the other involves standing in front of the counter in a crowd of Austrians who have not internalized the Anglo-Saxon concept of “queuing” or “taking turns”.
One used to be able to sit down at a counter in the back of the store and order a coffee and give them your goodie order at the same time, and they’d bring your stuff while you sat there feeling like a Homo Sapiens watching Neanderthals at the watering hole, but the last time I tried that the clerk told me I had to “wait in line” and order at the counter first, so what’s the point?
Maybe I’ll try it again today and see if it works, but that will be difficult because I don’t know what I want this morning. I will probably have to stand there going, Hrm, one of these and seven of these and you have any more of these?
And then I will try to pay them with a hundred Euro bill, which is all I have – this is the next thing – I’ll try to pay them with that, which is not such a big bill – and they will say, I can’t change that.
Uh-oh. Someone is up, I hear noise upstairs. Gotta run.


I don’t know if this is a good idea or not. I am writing a work of fiction about pain and would like to ask you, in the comments or in email if it’s too much of a downer, for stories about any extreme experiences you may have had with pain, physical or other. Please note: I may publish this work of fiction someday, and by commenting or emailing me your story you would be tacitly giving me permission to use your story, as inspiration, background information or even (in some altered form) within the story somehow.

That didn’t sound very legal, did it?

Thanks in advance.

Turn, turn, turn

Thank you, the light’s better now. Things were so purple along the creek last night – the haze, sage, the rain, the deep. The grass and ducks bathed in pink and the air vibrated with negative ions (remember: negative is positive!). We walked all the way to the train tracks in the next town and we got home feeling refreshed. And then this morning, the river covered in fog, the woods full of fog, the fields covered in it. And no time to wander in it because I had to go to work. Which, I’m not complaining. I like paychecks. Or, rather, the line on my printout at the bank machine that tells me I’ve been paid.

Someone once told me I was in love with my dick. I thought about that. In fact, it is like an old friendship with a buddy you tolerate because the friendship goes so far back. He borrows money from you and never pays it back, you go out drinking and he falls asleep and you have to carry him home, but you’re there for him, you know?

So summer is over. Good riddance. I am not a summer person. I do enjoy the laziness, and the sitting in the backyard part, and the lolling in the shade, but the sun makes me squint and is not good for my skin in a big way, thank you Ireland.

Spring is nice. Fall and winter, too.

The light. Such a sunset, and I had left my camera at home. Such a nice foggy, greyscale sunrise and I was driving a car.


Market research

I was griping to a friend and she suggested I post the following:

“Dear Metamorphosists,

Two questions I can only entrust to beings as understanding and intellectual as yourselves:

1. If I were to publish a collection of BGU comics, would you buy it?
2. If you were to have a t-shirt with a single bug panel (or a whole comic) on it, which panel/comic would it be?

Your reasons are as interesting as your answers.


p.s. I am doing this cause Tuckova made me.”

I know what your cello did last summer

This summer I considered murdering, among other people, my cello teacher. He assigned me an etude. That is, I received the sheet music from him somehow, finding it on my music stand after he was gone, or he gave it to my kid, in a way that prevented me from asking him about it face to face. Just a few instructions penciled on the back.

It was slow and sad, something I remember requesting once. A slow, sad piece. It is an etude build mainly to practice double stops, however, so it sounded that much sadder while I was trying to figure it out.

It was hard to practice, I felt compelled to wait until everyone was gone, including the neighbors.

When you play double stops, you want to get the intonation right, which I was not doing. A piece without them, if my intonation is off, it still sounds roughly like a tune, to me at least. But this sounded like hell all summer long. I played it without double stops, just individual notes, to get an idea of what it should sound like. But despite that, I was swimming the entire time.

I dreaded going back to my first lesson of the new school year Monday. So imagine my surprise when my teacher expressed great satisfaction with how things stood. Amazement, even.

Even given the likelihood that he was wanting to start off a new year on a positive note and probably praised every student, his effusiveness made it impossible for me not to cheer up a little.

All I need to do is iron out a couple little things, like bowing and intonation. Everything else was already perfect, he said. That sounds like a joke, bowing and intonation being as important as they are, but I gather he was referring to things like the positions I had figured out and other elements.

So cello got off on a positive note this season. It was a real U-turn for me, attitude wise, because I had already begun wondering whether I ought not just sell the damned thing to the woman who has a crush on it.

My teacher asked me what I wanted to learn this year. How to read music, I felt like saying. More double stops, I said. What about thumb positions, he said. Sure, them too, I said. They could be useful if you’re considering doing more composing, he said. Absolutely, I said. thumb positions it is.

I have been doodling around on the piano again lately. So, maybe.

He also gave me some scales to practice. Fairly easy ones. I’m trying to figure them out. Not so easy for me, despite their simplicity. My problem is I still try to do everything at once, instead of taking it step by step. If I slow down, it’ll go faster.