The above image is by Cody Vrosh, who I met at some street art fair in San Francisco. I love it to pieces and I’m grateful to him for allowing me to post it to my blog. It depicts a caged, winged young man who is accepting a letter from an un-caged girl; beneath the cage is an explosive trigger labeled with a broken heart.

Readers, I never write posts like this, because I know you rely upon me to deliver only the finest in sex and gender theory and/or personal experience. However, lately I have been stressed. Rape exists and makes me sad. Consensual sex is widely stigmatized and that makes me sad. Researching pickup artists has possibly made me unable to ever trust or love a man again, ever. (Just kidding. Kind of.) Clarisse is a sad panda.

Also I am sort of curious about who my readers are when they aren’t commenting about sex and gender!

So, I give you a thread unlike any previous thread. I give you … an open thread on ANYTHING OTHER THAN SEX AND GENDER.

Here are the rules: your comment can be

(a) a joke that you’re sure won’t piss anyone off (yes, I know this may mean that no jokes are told)

(b) an entertaining anecdote from your personal life, which has nothing to do with sex or gender

(c) a link to something fascinating or hilarious. Links may be relevant to sex and gender, if you must, but you are not allowed to post any sex/gender commentary of your own in this thread. On pain of death.

Some links to start us off:

* Myths Over Miami — a brilliant old article about urban legends among street kids in Miami, Florida. Snip: On Christmas night a year ago, God fled Heaven to escape an audacious demon attack — a celestial Tet Offensive. The demons smashed to dust his palace of beautiful blue-moon marble. TV news kept it secret, but homeless children in shelters across the country report being awakened from troubled sleep and alerted by dead relatives. No one knows why God has never reappeared, leaving his stunned angels to defend his earthly estate against assaults from Hell. “Demons found doors to our world,” adds eight-year-old Miguel, who sits before Andre with the other children at the Salvation Army shelter. The demons’ gateways from Hell include abandoned refrigerators, mirrors, Ghost Town (the nickname shelter children have for a cemetery somewhere in Dade County), and Jeep Cherokees with “black windows.” The demons are nourished by dark human emotions: jealousy, hate, fear.

* Last weekend at a feminist speculative fiction convention I met Rachel Swirsky — who was incredibly kind and friendly, who happens to be a feminist blogger writing over at Alas, A Blog under the name Mandolin, and who just won the Nebula Award. The Nebula is one of the most prestigious awards in speculative fiction! Here’s the award-winning novella.

* I’m not the biggest fan of the Chicago bean sculpture, but I recently found these pictures, and they are awesome. Lovers of city skylines take note.

UPDATE: A family member called me because he was so concerned! Do I seem that sad? Everything is okay, really, I just needed a small boost.