greygirlbeast: (Default)
We seem to be dodging the bullet of Hurricane Earl. A weather front has nudged it a wee bit eastward, and its been downgraded to a Category One. Mostly, we're looking at heavy rain and some wind, and breathing a sigh of relief. The surfers are happy, even though the Governor of Rhode Island ordered all the state beaches closed yesterday. I'd love to go down to Point Judith or Beavertail and see the waves, but it's unlikely we could get anywhere near the shore.

Meanwhile, Sirenia Digest #57 is still stuck in a holding pattern. Which has me very, very antsy and unable to move on to whatever needs doing next. Today, I may seek an alternate path to the PDF, as someone has volunteered. My thanks to everyone for being so patient.

Not much work yesterday, and what there was consisted, in the main, of email. I had a short interview for Lightspeed, about "Faces in Revolving Souls," which is being reprinted there in November. They'll also be running an author's spotlight on me that month, so I had questions regarding germline bioengineering and retroviruses to answer. Also, "The Belated Burial" is being adapted for podcast by PodCastle. I'll let you know when it's scheduled.

The rest of the day we mostly spent wandering about Providence making preparations against the storm— nonperishable food, jugs of water, candles, and so forth. Stuff we likely won't need now, not this weekend, but which we'll eventually put to good use. I called my mother, back in Alabama. Yesterday was the first anniversary of my stepfather's death, and so it was a hard day for her. We talked for twenty or thirty minutes, about everything from hurricanes to possums.

If anyone out there is feeling charitable, I'd really like to be able to update my OS from OS X 10.4.11 (Tiger) to OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard). If I'd ever updated to Leopard, it wouldn't be a big deal, just $29.00. But because I didn't, I appear to need this software bundle for the update. Just saying, if anyone's feeling generous with some disposable cash that isn't doing anything, I wouldn't say no. *

Last night, we watched the third and final film in the Red Riding trilogy, In the Year of Our Lord 1983. The third film, directed by Anand Tucker, is much more like the first, stylistically and structurally. It was beautiful, deeply unsettling, and sublime. I'd say it's a film about redemption, even at the cost of one's life and sanity (which is true, to a lesser degree, of the first film). Tucker's use of flashbacks, nonlinear narrative, and fairy-tale hints is marvelous. Mark Addy's performance as John Piggott is one of the best in all three films. So yes, I recommend these films very strongly. Right now, all three can be streamed from Netflix.

There was rp in Insilco after the movie. I think we got to bed about three, maybe later. Spooky and I are both a week or so behind on our sleep.

Update: Turns out, Apple lies (as do we all). The bundle isn't needed, and I can update directly from Tiger to Snow Leopard, so all I need is the 29.00 thingy. Baaaaad Apple marketing!

Update 2 (4:51 p.m.): One trip to the Apple Store and a 45-minute install later, and Arwen is now running OS X 10.6.3. And yes, I named my iMac Arwen.
greygirlbeast: (Ellen Ripley 1)
Just something quick, because I want to try to get Sirenia Digest #45 out to subscribers by late afternoon.

Yesterday was entirely consumed by proofreading and making corrections to "Werewolf Smile" and "A Paleozoic Dreamquest" (the latter may get a new title). I hate days that involve hours of tedious copyediting.

Also, it has occurred to me that I should write a fictional autobiography. Sure, who the hell's ever going to make a film about my life? No one. But I'm sure that's what Diane Arbus must have thought, as well. And scores of others I can name. So, If I write my own fictional account, which shall be ever so much more interesting that the "facts," perhaps whichever future aspiring filmmaker finds himself obsessed with me will gravitate towards that, instead of all the dumb crap that really happened. All biographies, like all histories, are necessary fictions, anyway. I might as well make an engaging fiction. I'm actually quite serious about this. It comes back to issues of self determination. Perhaps I will use my various alter-egos: Nareth, Scheherazade, Algeria Touchshriek, etc., and anchor it to no one era, no one reality. And yes, I am in debted to Steven Shainberg and his wonderful film, Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus (2006), for this idea.

If you've not already, please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thanks. eBay will not be in the autobiography.

You know a day's going to be weird when you catch yourself making Pee-Wee Herman faces.
greygirlbeast: (chi2)
This afternoon, while I worked, I kept the TV on the NASA Channel, trying not to be nervous about whether or not the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter would manage a successful insertion. I'd get up every ten or fifteen minutes to see how things were going. I literally chewed a hole in my bottom lip during the half hour of radio silence as the orbiter passed behind Mars. But everything went the way it was supposed to, and if it continues to go that way, as the great elliptical orbit slowly evolves into a tight circular one, then come November we'll be getting some absolutely amazing data. It's stuff like this that keeps me moving. I kid you not.

Meanwhile, taking the bad with the good, which is one of my superpowers, a new study by NASA and the University of Colorado at Boulder, published in Science, seems to conclusively indicate that the Antarctic ice sheet is shrinking by as much as thirty-six cubic miles of ice a year. One of the authors of the study, Isabella Velicogna, has stated that "The ice sheet is losing mass at a significant rate." Indeed, the ice is melting more rapidly than previously thought, and increased Antarctic snowfall (also the result of global warming) does not appear to be slowing the melting and increasing ice-sheet mass, as hoped. And, of course, this news comes just a couple of months after NASA findings that the Arctic/Greenland ice sheet is also melting more rapidly than believed. To quote a NASA press release, "Greenland's ice sheet decreased by 162 (plus or minus 22) cubic kilometers a year between 2002 and 2005. This is higher than all previously published estimates, and it represents a change of about 0.4 millimeters (.016 inches) per year to global sea level rise." And at the present rate of melting, the loss of ice in Antarctica is adding an additional annual sea level rise of 0.4 millimeters a year.

Velicogna described these results a "wake-up call," but how many times have I heard that before? Wasn't Katrina and the 2005 hurricane season enough of a wake-up call? How many different ways do humans have to break a planet? I want to feel celebratory right now, not all frelling doom and gloom. I want to look forward to seeing more of Mars, but it's hard to stop thinking about how rough things are getting down here on Earth. Anyway...

Too much thinking today. My brain won't seem to stay on any one problem for longer than five minutes. I did come to the conclusion that I don't mean transhumanism. I mean parahumanism. I spent part of the day reading Anders Sandberg's writing on morphological freedom.

I need some sleep, I think.


greygirlbeast: (Default)
Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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