greygirlbeast: (Default)
So, I did it. As of today, I have blogged six months straight, without missing a single day. Actually, I've not missed making an entry since February 13th, but I didn't make the "I'm not going to miss an entry for six months" declaration until March 1st, so I'm not counting February. Anyway, between March 1st and today (this post included), there's a total of 253 entries. Most days got one entry. Some got two or three. One got four entries. So, having accomplished this task, I ask myself, "Self, want to try for a whole year?" And remember, I have no iPad, no iPhone, Android, Blackberry, what-the-hell-ever mobile geegaw that allows me to post anywhere but home. So, this stands as ample evidence that I really don't have a life. Though, it's true, that three entries (I think it was three), were made from the business center of the Readercon hotel, back in July.

---

Yesterday, well...I worked. But I can't tell you on what I worked. And as the weeks roll by, until THE ANNOUNCEMENT is made, I'm going to have to say...yesterday I worked, and did X words on X, X pages on X, and so forth. It sucks. The other way – you seeing how marvelous the beginning of this undertaking is – would be so much cooler. But this is the way it is.

Anyway, yeah. Work on X. Then an appointment with my shrink. Then a trip to Pawtucket and the storage unit. Then dinner. I read "New Upper Pennsylvanian armored dissorophid records (Temnospondyli, Dissorophoidea) from the U.S. midcontinent and the stratigraphic distributions of dissorophids" and "Tupilakosaur-like vertebrae in Bothriceps australis, an Australian brachyopid stereospondyl" (both in the July JVP Then good RP in Insilico. Then Spooky read more of The Stand to me. And then...Monsieur Insomnia hit with a vengeance, and I sat up reading from The Book of Cthulhu until about 5:15 ayem. I read, um...let's see. Oh, yes. Bruce Sterling's "The Unthinkable" (1991, a peculiar little piece of whimsy, almost a vignette). Then Tim Pratt's "Cinderlands" (2010), which has a wonderfully non-linear narrative. It fumbles once with an achingly silly Lovecraftian pun, but yeah, otherwise, nice. And then Ramsey Campbell's very effective "The Tugging" (1976); Ramsey never ceases to amaze me. Then I managed to fall asleep, listening to This Mortal Coil, as the sun began to rise.

Tomorrow, I finally get to work on Sirenia Digest #69. It should be out by the fifth, on schedule. It's only going to feel late, on my end, because of this insane fucking amount of work lying over me like a heavy coating of bronze going green with verdigris.

And now, before I belatedly get to work on X, more photos from Friday, the day before Hurricane Irene began her sideswipe of Rhode Island (behind the cut).

Oh, and a big thank you to [livejournal.com profile] fornikate (my fans have the best LJ names) for teaching me that my spirit animal is actually a honey badger. It's absolutely true, and I should have figured it out years ago. We now have a jealous platypus.

August 26, Part 2 )


Mellivora,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Ellen Ripley 1)
So...the weird news coming out of Arkansas. Or, rather, what we might perceive as the weird news coming out of Arkansas, if we set aside the certainty of coincidence*, and the inevitability of highly improbable occurrences:

1) "More than 500 measurable earthquakes have occurred in central Arkansas since September, and it's unknown if they'll stop anytime soon, seismologists say." (source).

2) "Arkansas game officials hope testing scheduled to begin Monday will solve the mystery of why up to 5,000 birds fell from the sky just before midnight New Year's Eve." (source)

3) "Arkansas officials are investigating the death of an estimated 100,000 fish in the state's northwest, but suspect disease was to blame, a state spokesman said Sunday." (source)

The "bird fall" (to speak in Fortean terms) occurred about sixty miles west of the fish kill. Most (but not all) of the birds that died were of a single species, the red-winged blackbird. All of the fish that died were of a single species, the freshwater drum.

The earthquakes have occurred in the same general area, many north of Little Rock.

These things look odder than they likely are, if we insist upon viewing them as connected. However, the fish kill probably wouldn't have made it past the local news, if not for the "bird fall." Especially given that the fish seem to have died on Thursday night, or earlier that day, well before the birds. And the earthquakes have been being reported for months now, but I feel like I'm the only one who pays attention to geological news, and, near as I can tell, only one crackpot conspiracy website is trying to link the earthquakes to the fish kill and the "bird fall."

But the truth is, these things happen.

There are numerous non-mysterious ways the birds may have died (weather or fireworks are both good candidates). The fish kill clearly isn't the result of a pollutant, or more types of fish would be involved, so it's likely a species-specific contagion (virus, bacterium, fungus, or other parasite; my money would be on a viral or bacterial infection). And the earthquakes...well, while interesting, they need to be viewed in the context of the infamous New Madrid Seismic Zone and the recent discovery of a new fault line, roughly 100 miles east of Little Rock.

Near as I can tell, few have rushed to connect the storm front that stretched from Missouri to Mississippi and caused seven (human) deaths (and passed over central Arkansas) to any of this, even though it's the most likely explanation for the bird deaths.

I think the most curious thing about this— so far —is the connections humans see (myself included).

* Coincidence is a constantly occurring phenomenon with a bad rap. Lots of people treat it's like a dirty word, or something rationalists invoke simply to dispel so-called supernatural events. And yet, an almost infinite number of events coincide during any every nanosecond of the cosmos' existence. We only get freaked out and belligerent over the one's we notice, the ones we need (for whatever reason) to invest with some special significance. Co-occurrence should not be taken for correlation any more than correlation should be mistaken for causation.
greygirlbeast: (white2)
A bright morning here in Providence. The sun came back yesterday afternoon, and today it's much warmer. A high of 67F is forecast. Hubero is camped out on my desk watching birds.

The first part of yesterday was spent searching for the photograph I'd planned to use on the dust jacket of The Ammonite Violin & Others (please preorder!). That meant pulling out the HUGE BOX O' PHOTOS and combing through the decades. But the print was missing. We found the negative, but not the print. So, I began to consider whether to go with this image— which would meaning having a new print made, which would mean driving to Greenwich (pronounced "Gren-itch," not Green-witch," please) —or just picking a different photo. Finally I settled for the latter option. And I chose an image subpress' design person already has on file, which made everything much simpler.

I exchanged emails with an editorial assistant at Penguin, regarding corrections to the mass-market paperback of The Red Tree. Oh, by the way, tomorrow I'll be announcing the "wonderful bit of news" regarding The Red Tree that I mentioned back on the 8th. Anyway, I answered various other emails.

And then, later in the day, Spooky and I headed to the post office in Olneyville (getting the signature sheets for Swords and Dark Magic back in the mail, two short story contracts, etc.), then back to Benefit Street and the Athenaeum. She finished up with the galley pages for The Red Tree while I lurked amongst the shelves (and bumped my head twice on the same low-hung lampshade). I was especially pleased to come across a first edition of William Beebe's Half Mile Down (1934; Harcourt, Brace and Company, New York), which I noted was entered into the Athenaeum's catalog on November 11, 1934. On the way out, I had the pleasure to meet [livejournal.com profile] aliceoddcabinet, the circulation clerk responsible for getting The Red Tree into the Athenaeum. The library was soothing, and Benefit Street seemed even greener than it did on Monday.

My thanks to everyone for kind words and reassurances regarding my decision to shelve The Wolf Who Cried Girl. Right now, my plan is to get through Sirenia Digest #s 53-55 (April, May, June) and write two short stories that have spring and early summer delivery dates, and then come back to the book near the beginning of July.

---

I have resolved— for the thirtieth or so time, surely —that I'm truly done with Second Life roleplay, except for a few one-on-one scenes now and then with people who've proven themselves very good at rp. Last night in Insilico, I did an excellent scene (thank you, Blair). But that somehow led into a group scene, which was anything but excellent. It was, instead, messy, confused, and, for the most part, silly. I used to disdain rp classes, thinking surely this is something that everyone can do, something we learn to do as children, and that the proper rp etiquette is pretty much a given. Nope. I was wrong. I am finally admitting I was wrong. Because people can't stay in character, and they can't avoid wrecking scenes with out-of-character chatter and jokes (which are still disruptive, even if you put them in parentheses). Some of it I write off to ignorance of good rp, but there's also a sense that people cannot bear any sort of suspense, and that they fear (or are uncomfortable with) being taken seriously, so must constantly sabotage a scene. Or they think it makes them look cool, breaking character. I don't know. In the end, it really doesn't matter why these things happen, only that they do. And that they are disrespectful of other players and destroy interactive, collaborative storytelling. At least for me they do. And given that rp is the only thing I've ever wanted from SL...well, there you go. I cannot continue to expend so much energy for such meager returns. I've been going back to SL, seeking rp, for almost three years now (since May 2007), and things have only gotten steadily worse. It's hard to give up on something that has so much potential (which is why I've gone back so many times), but there comes a point. I think I have reached that point. I hope I have reached that point.

---

I have some photographs from yesterday in the Athenaeum:

13 April 2010 )
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
This morning, I was stunned to learn of the death of Andy Hallett. He was only thirty-three years old. In other Angel/Buffy-related news, Alyson Hannigan had a kid last week, and named her Satyana.

Here in Providence, it's sunny, and the temperature has climbed into the low fifties (F).

Yesterday, I wrote a very respectable 1,558 words and finished "A Canvas for Incoherent Arts," which will be appearing in Sirenia Digest #40. Which should go out to subscribers before midnight tonight. I'll write about the story more in this issue's prolegomena, but it came out much darker (literally) than I'd expected, an oddly quiet and anxious story. Also, Spooky and I finished up with the CEM for The Red Tree, which goes back in the mail to Manhattan this afternoon.

There's really not a whole lot more to be said for yesterday. I'm reading the new Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, and have so far made my way through three articles on fossil sharks: "Exceptional preservation of the white shark Carcharodon (Lamniformes, Lamnidae) from the early Pliocene of Peru"; "The spine-brush complex in symmoriiform sharks (Chondrichthyes; Symmoriiformes), with comments on dorsal fin modularity"; and "Pectoral anatomy of Tribodus limae (Elasmobranchii: Hybodontiformes) from the Lower Cretaceous of northeastern Brazil."

I'll note that the long-lost Monster Doodle sculpture now has five bids, and the auction ends tomorrow. Also, Spooky finished a new bat, which is now available at her Etsy shop. Painfully adorable, this bat.

Last night, I did a scene with the Alphas in NoR, then signed onto WoW and continued to accrue reputation with Orgrimmar (and a little with the Darkspear trolls). Shaharrazad spent most of the night in the Swamp of Sorrows, which she has found rather to her liking. There are a couple of screencaps behind the cut:

Swampy Night )
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Some days just bring a veritable cornucopia of wonders. Today, for example.

My thanks to everyone who sent me links to the Japanese video clips of the frilled shark(Chlamydoselachus anguineus) that strayed into shallow water before dying. Often cited as an example of a "living fossil," I have been fascinated with these beautiful creatures, and this video clip is amazing. Chlamydoselachid sharks extend back to the Late Cretaceous, at least, and the new film certainly conjures images of primordial sea "monsters." One of the coolest things I've seen in years. Click here for the story and video at CNN.com. By the way, until this sighting, this subspecies of Chlamydoselachus anguineus was feared extinct.

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] sovay for pointing me towards an announcement of what may be the earliest known ancestor of living primates yet discovered, Dryomomys szalayi, dating back to the Late Paleocene Epoch (56 mya). The fossils were recovered near Yellowstone Park in Wyoming. Just don't tell the creationists.

Thanks to Spooky ([livejournal.com profile] humglum) for telling me about a new mid-Pleistocene (800-200 thousand ybp) cave fauna from southern Australia's Nullarbor plain. The fauna includes "23 species of kangaroo, eight of which had never been identified before. Two of the species were tree kangaroos which had adapted to living in branches. Other animals were several species of wallaby, a range of lizards including a large species called the King's skink (Egernia kingii), a carnivorous marsupial called the mulgara, which was related to the endangered Tasmanian devil, and two parrots."

Okay. Bedtime for nixars...

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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