Carol Song

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Psychic Menagerie
1/21/2018 4:37pm

The tower was about half built, and if it got any bigger we didn't know if @Candi Wolfe's plan was going to work. Which is why the "accident" happened when it did. I'm just relieved no one was hurt.

It was going to be a big job. Candi's Volvo, Joyce, suggested just hooking a chain to it and pulling it down, but she tends to overestimate her strength. But that got us thinking, who are the biggest, most powerful creatures we know?

Of course, @JJ Cricket came to mind, whose campus rampages had abated but still left pathways crashed through the forest that were easy to follow. And we were sure that seismic cricket activity at that level was sure to attract the @Level 8 Bouncy House. And as a group, the @Bimpliboos are like an unstoppable wave. So we put the word out to @Rather Large Rabbit and @Precious Lamb, and even @Oyster Ray was enticed to return and join the party.

So at midnight, they all converged. We lured JJ Cricket with a pickup truck full of compost from the cafeteria, then shoveled great heaps of it beneath the half-built tower. Then we removed ourselves to safe distance and watched the fun.

I had never been a fan of Kaiju movies, but now I see the appeal. JJ Cricket wreaked havoc on the structure, soon joined by ranks of Bimpliboos and the bouncy house, while Oyster Ray sped around in the air, raining down his "Pearls of Wisdom" with pinpoint precision. Precious Lamb hung back with us, along with that big rabbit drinking something out of a bottle in a brown paper bag.

When the dust cleared and we were sure there was no unintended property damage or physical injury, it was clear our team of mutant animals and sapient amusement installations had done their job completely. Not only was the tower demolished, but all of G-LUV's subsidiary construction contractor's equipment and vehicles as well. JJ Cricket was still crunching on the engine of the backhoe when we left.

Will this slow G-LUV down? They still have 12 more towers in the Tri-city area. Candi and I might have weekends busy for awhile.

Psychic Menagerie
1/7/2018 4:22pm

I almost didn't put it all together. There were so many moving parts, so many loose ends.... It just seemed like a bunch of unconnected bad stuff happening. The increasingly mutated wildlife on campus, the rise in gang activity, the student disappearances and the sinister G-LUV substations (not to mention their on-air programming - ugh!). With so many bad things going on you get numb and start accepting it all as business as usual. And grand unified conspiracy theories are for paranoid kooks, right?

Then I was accidentally cc'ed on an email. Part of my internship at G-LUV is answering the main email inbox. info@gluv. It means going through it and deleting spam and forwarding things on to the right departments. I don't even know who gets them, since there's never anybody here at their office.

But somebody included the info@ address on this response:

RE: RE: RE: FWD: Environmental Impact Study cA-Hxv

|>Psyhigh water sample cA-Hxv (LAB) at .99999% optimal. Plaque Crystallization Levels are peaked.
|>Transmission of terminal directive indicated.

look at that substrate! the signal's going to sail right through it. and the boys in the socio dept say we've likely reached full saturation of the population vector. we're ready to flip the switch as soon as tower #13 is operational.


The WATER. Coming out of the Science Lab. @Marthew17's run off. First the animals drank it, then the Chloroform Kids got ahold of it. All the weird effects... and it's some kind of... conduit... for the G-LUV signal? For a "terminal directive?" That sounds plenty ominous. Terrific.

@Candi Wolfe and I have been keeping an eye on the construction site for Tower 13. It's on the edge of campus nearest the Science Lab. And it's almost finished.

Candi says she's got a plan.

Upward Mobility and the Modern Worker
11/20/2017 9:49pm

My GPA is super important. To me. As you know. I mean, I'm not being judgy, and I know it seems like it just comes easy for some people, but it really does take a ton of work and attention to detail and making sure everything gets handed in on time at at 110%. But with all this Scooby Gang stuff that @Candi Wolfe and I have been doing, I worry that I'm starting to slip.

Like today's Upward Mobility and the Modern Worker assignment. Performing my favorite monologue from Economics for a #Lit*fire emoji**fire emoji**one hundred emoji*World!!. A book which no, I hadn't really read, and gave myself approximately 45 minutes to prepare for.

I was pacing the library, flipping through the book, when I realized it wasn't as easy a read as I was guessing. The emoji combinations and logic codes were super complex, and going to take way more time than I had, and I was wondering if I was just going to have to call in sick and spend all night figuring it out.

Then I spotted the @Bimpliboos, through the library window, out on the grass. They were in a circle playing one of their duck duck goose games like they do when nobody wants to play with them. I had an idea.

Turns out the @Bimpliboos are fascinated with emojis. There's something about their round, pliable, somewhat amorphous shapes that made me think they'd like them. At first I read to them outloud, but I ended up just laying the book on the grass as they bounded over each other and piled on, trying to absorb the data, different emoji faces and forms passing over their little shape-shifting rubbery bodies. Soon they began to form rows and combinations, spinning and flittering like the symbols on a slot machine. I wasn't sure what they were saying, but it looked like something.

So I wrestled the book back from them and ran to class--the @Bimpliboos following close behind, leaping onto my head and shoulders trying to get at the book--and I burst through the door just as Professor Branigan was about to ask for a volunteer.

"Me! I'll go!"

And I slammed my book down on the little podium and the @Bimpliboos started up again.

It didn't really seem to go anywhere, just the @Bimpliboos frantically passing through various emoji forms and combos, and after about 10 minutes I walked up to the podium, grabbed the book, and flung it out the window. A small herd of @Bimpliboos chased after it.

The whole class cheered. I hope that means I get an A.

Psychic Menagerie
11/11/2017 1:45pm

My internship at G-LUV has gotten much more interesting... since I uncovered their network of soul-destroying transmission substations.

Sitting alone, day after day, in the soundproof, dust-free reception area of their otherwise unmanned and fully automated local office, I began to understand how to interpret some of the strange codes and symbols that appeared on the G-LUV dashboard screen. Longitude and latitude coordinates were easy to figure out, but the ARRRG (Automated Ratings, Reach, and Reaction Graph) was far more sinister than I originally suspected.

I'd been jotting down the geo-coordinates for weeks, and @Candi Wolfe and I have been taking weekend road trips in her self-possessed Volvo named Joyce to visit each one of them. The trips have been fun, taking us up into the hills and farmland all within a day's drive. Sometimes we pack lunches, and sometimes we find some creaky old hamburger stand out in the boonies.

It turns out the substations encircle the entire tri-city area in a regular tridecagon. That is, for those of you not paying attention in Arcane Geometry class, a 13-pointed star.

Well, it will be a 13 pointed star, once the last of the substations gets built. Currently there are just 12.

Candi's been doing the math (she pays even better attention in Arcane Geometry than I do) and the graphing, which ended up looking very much like the ARRRG map at work. Transposing those graphs onto a map of local news events, there is a direct correlation of gang reports involving the Chloroform Kids, Witchfinder GPS users, and other unexplained acts of violence at all the places where the connecting lines intersect.

And if you draw a line right through the center of the star? You guessed it--Psyhigh.

There's already an obvious symphony of violence and destruction directly related to the placement of these G-LUV substations. But what will happen when they build that 13th location? What will happen when the loop is closed? What is G-LUV really transmitting? Who is behind it?

I think I understand now why their office is unmanned.

Upward Mobility and the Modern Worker
10/14/2017 5:32pm

I was putting in my hours at G-LUV radio, thinking about transferring to another work-study. Professor Branigan gave me a brochure for Ciudad-Rusa Public Radio, and all the noumenally aware robots there look really nice. But as I was reading through it I got a strange notification on the G-LUV dashboard screen:




...and it proceeded to output longitude/latitude coordinates. Which I wrote down.

After work I mapped it. It was a place up in the hills, not far from where @Candi Wolfe and I like to drive sometimes. So I figured it sounded like a good adventure.

Now I'm wishing we'd never gone.

We followed dirt roads through the woods till we got to an installation. I assumed it was antennas, or boosters, or the kind of stuff I'd be learning about if this workstudy were any good. We parked Joyce down the road a little, then walked up a concrete path that led to what looked like a giant toaster.

As we got nearer to it, I noticed the ground was littered with trash. On closer inspection, it wasn't just trash--it was the contents of wallets. Starbucks gift cards, donut punch cards, some stray dollar bills and change... but mostly student IDs. Specifically, Psyhigh Student IDs. The first one I picked up was @EmilyDH. Then @C.Buzzington Jr., and @gwenstefunny. There were IDs for @TaylorKem and @Finnegan Tomko and @Beenie Weevil and lots more--all from students that all seemed to have "disappeared" from campus.

Just then, we heard a rumble and a roar from down the road and we slipped into the woods. Coming up the concrete path was an Wheeled Autonomous Cleaning Unit (a WACU). It must have been the one called in by G-LUV. Suddenly its flamethrowers roared to life, and all the debris--gift cards and student IDs alike--went up in a fiery poof.

Upward Mobility and the Modern Worker
10/8/2017 10:07pm

Who even listens to radio? In cars, I guess. @Candi Wolfe has a cassette adapter in her volvo, so we don't listen to radio there. Old people? Guys in their garages working on their pumped up Witchfinder GPS muscle cars?

I got my work-study at G-LUV, the radio station in town. Upward Mobility and the Modern Worker arranged it. I expected to see... well, people. Deejays and talk show hosts in a glass room with headphones at least. But it turns out it's entirely automated. There's nobody there at all. I let myself in with a code, and then I sit behind a desk. The station is playing, and there's a screen that has the schedule of what's on. It's all very shiny and black.

Nobody comes in. After the first hour or so I got out my phone, but then got an alert on the screen that phones were only allowed on break. That's when I noticed the camera that points right where I sit.

I doubt you've ever listened to G-LUV, but it's all very "positive and encouraging." None of the music is by anybody you've ever heard of, but it's all super life-affirming and "uplifting." And then every once in awhile a voice comes on and gives the station identification and says something like "You are someone" or "Don't worry, just ignore it" or "Just sleep, and everything will turn out great." It wasn't till the third day that I brought in bluetooth headphones and could listen to what I wanted.

Why did I take this job again?

Upward Mobility and the Modern Worker
10/2/2017 11:33pm

I ran into a skunk on the trail. Sort of.

I was on my way to visit to the Chicken Lady and realized my phone had fallen out of my pocket. I knew where it had fallen out because I had been looking through my pockets for some gum. It wasn't that far so I started walking back up the trail and got to where I it must have fallen out but I didn't see it, so I kept on walking and looking at the ground. It was getting dark and I knew it couldn't have been that far so I turned around and walked back down the trail, looking at the ground and the dirt and the rocks and the grass and weeds in the half dark but still couldn't spot it.

Then I smelled skunk.

I turned around and walked back up the trail, still not finding anything till I got back to where I turned around before. It was getting almost too dark to see anything, and the skunk smell was getting stronger. I was going to give up, and walked back down the trail again and suddenly found my phone right there in the middle of the trail, face down on a little bed of twigs and moss.

I picked it up to check for messages and it was already opened up to email. The screen was muddy with little paw prints and there was a message composed in it with no address. I assumed it must have gotten bounced around in my pocket with random word suggestions but it read:

"The game has been fixed since the latest update. The cork is rotten. The transmitter is compromised si no comprende. Get a job in terrestrial radio."

Wasn't there a project you could choose in Upward Mobility and the Modern Worker called Moving Up in 20th Century Media? How convenient. It doesn't sound very "modern" but I guess I need to take a work-study at the local radio station.

9/28/2017 7:44pm

My dad grew up in this town, and he went to Psyhigh back in the day. My grandparents are still in town too, and aunts and uncles and cousins, and my parents' friends. Which means lots of old people to entertain with my presence at various celebrations and dinners and get togethers.

Not all these old people are psychic. It's a mix. It didn't used to be as OK to be public about being psychic in the old days, so all of them are used to kind of not making a big deal about it.

But in a big group of them you can sure tell which ones are and which ones aren't. Well, Everybody's a Little Bit Psychicâ„¢ (as they say), but the ones who are more psychic than others are like soft leathery couches you sink down into when you start talking to them. Soft leathery octopus couches, and warm, but somehow aren't creepy. You can feel how ancient they are, but they don't mean you any harm. Quite the opposite, really. It's like they want to protect you, like they've put a little something of themselves inside you, and it's important that you live on so that little part of them can live on too... like thousands of little diamond eggs of wisdom, deep inside your psyche, just biding their time and ready to hatch one day, like a million little baby spiders made of pure psychic power.

Ok when I put it that way maybe it is a little creepy.

Connect a journal entry to this post

Upward Mobility and the Modern Worker
9/21/2017 9:30am

i. Complete a 500 word essay arguing either pro or con to the statement, "Adding more molecules to your own physical form is a moral and effective way to open yourself to new investment opportunities.


In a free moving market, with 602,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 molecules per share, Irrational Faraday Expectaion Theory predicts that uninhibited growth creates a zoo of bubble animals that will grow to fit the size of their container. Equal volumes of bubble animals at the same temperature and pressure (for instance poodles, giraffes, or mind shattering horrors from beyond) will consume one another until a massively monstrous bubble animal is created, with nothing left to consume but itself. At this point, Coulomb's inverse-square law implies that the very exciting charges that inhabit the bubble animal become very unexcited at the prospect of consuming itself eternally, and hence arrives at an undead state, in which dynamic psycho-emotional growth is impossible.

For this reason, addition of molecules alone ultimately creates a static-state existence resulting in life-death, which is neither a moral nor effective way to open oneself to new investment opportunities.

Full essay available for presentation. Includes bubble animal demonstration, including free samples for students.

Psychic Menagerie
9/16/2017 4:03pm

I made a complaint to Bill Weeener, faculty head of the Scientia department, about not being able to access the northwest wing of the science labs. He told me the wing was officially "checked out" to a student named @Marthew17 for independent study in psychic cosmetics development. He framed it like it was a great thing about how Psyhigh encouraged innovation in psychic STEM, and shouldn't I be proud that the school offered such great opportunities...?

Whatever. Something seems super sketchy about it all, but I don't really feel like leading a criminal investigation. Isn't that what campus security is for? Or the PsyCops?

@Candi Wolfe and I even got our courage up to go driving last night. Thankfully, we saw no big black muscle cars and no Chloroform Kids. But definitely more of their H-C-CL tags out there if you know where to look.

Joyce (Candi's old hand-me-down Volvo) insisted on doing the driving. Candi kept her hands loosely on the steering wheel--just for looks--but that wheel was moving on its own the whole time. Gas and brakes too. After some cautious sneaking around on back streets, Joyce was anxious to take us up into the hills, and we ended up on the one they call Warlock Mountain. It's called that because once upon a time somebody said they saw a bunch of people in black robes gathered on the summit in some kind of ritual, calling down purple fire or lightning or something. Purple definitely is always part of the story whenever you hear it.

We didn't find any warlocks, but we did find a clearing with a boulder with a big iron spike driven into it. By then it was pretty dark and late though, and we didn't want some Chloroform Kids to suddenly appear, drifting in with their headlights off, quietly crunching over the gravel with their fat six rubber tires. So Candi took me home.

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