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April 3rd, 2009

A quick recap of the last two days.

Wednesday:

I spent most of Wednesday reading, it seems, which is rather nice, as I miss reading days. However, I was reminded why I never actually read the anthologies in which my stories appear. Casting about for something, I more-or-less randomly grabbed two books, The Children of Cthulhu (2002) and Weird Shadows Over Innsmouth (2005). From the latter, I read fragments of an early draft of HPL's "The Shadow Over Innsmouth," that were interesting in a vaguely academic sense, and made me glad that he figured out a different way to tell the story. Also, "Eggs" by Steve Rasnic Tem (not bad; a little rushed, I thought) and "The Quest for Y'ha-nthlei" by John Glasby. The latter was more interesting in concept than in execution: An epistolary tale from the POVs of several Federal agents who took part in the raid on Innsmouth in 1928. Would have made a far better novella than short story. From The Children of Cthulhu, I only read "Long Meg and Her Daughters" by Paul Finch. On the one hand, it kept my attention for 58 pages (no mean feat), but, on the other, it had that 1970s drive-in-movie, fear-of-pagans hysteria about it ("Despite the serenity of the environment, pagan monuments like this always seemed to have an appeal for nutballs. Even if the crazies who came here weren't actually practicing magic, they might be deluded enough to think they were."). The story came off a bit like Torchwood: The Motion Picture, only sexist, and someone needs to suggest to Mr. Finch that tales of Shub-Niggurath and Tsathoggua, and Lovecraftian fiction in general, tend not to involve the conquest of dark, outside forces by virile English policemen, but, rather, the other way round.

I also read "Eothyris and Oedaleops: do these Early Permian synapsids from Texas and New Mexico form a clade?" in the new Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

I had a bath. I had an hour-long nap before dinner. The rainy grey day became a rainy grey night. We watched an episode from Season Four of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, and played WoW. Shaharrazad finally became exalted with the orc city-state of Orgrimmar, which means she got a warg to ride, and has, for the time, put her felsteed out to pasture. Or out to seething volcanic abyss. Or...whatever.

Thursday:

We'd planned to drive up to Salem and Marblehead, but the sunny, warm day the local meteorologists promised turned out to be a cold, rainy, foggy day (just like today). We drove down to Warwick and got the new P.J. Harvey and John Parish album, A Man a Woman Walked By wicked cheap (only $7.99!; favorite track so far, "Cracks in the Canvas"), plus a couple of graphic novels, Joss Whedon's Runaways: Dead End Kids and Buffy, the Vampire Slayer: The Long Way Home. Then we headed down to Kingston, because I wanted to stop in at the Kingston Hill Store (ca 1897). These days, it's a grand used and antique bookshop. When Spooky was a teenager, it was a convenience store where she worked. We browsed a bit, and I picked up Lovecraft: Disturbing the Universe by Donald R. Burleson (1990) and The Making of King Kong by Orville Goldner and George E. Turner (1975).

On the way from Warwick to Kingston, we saw the first genuine signs of spring in the woods, especially along brooks and in the swampy lowlands. Pussy willows in bloom, dogwoods budding, the Narcissus providing tiny splashes of yellow against the brown landscape, fields going green. The lichen seems to be loving this cold, wet weather, and in places, where it carpeted the field-stone walls and tree trunks, it almost seemed to glow an unearthly shade of greenish white.

After Kingston, we headed on south to Narragansett, mostly because we didn't want to go home. We were very pleased to find our favorite chowder house, Iggy's, was already open for the season (we knew they were opening in April, but thought it was still a couple of weeks off). We ordered a half dozen doughboys and ate them in the small dining room. Then we drove south to Point Judith and Harbor of Refuge. It seemed like I hadn't been to the sea in many, many months. In truth, I was in Newport early in March, but I felt as though it had much longer. And a tame marina on the bay can't compare to the sea at Point Judith. There was a strong wind, and mist, and we only stayed out on the jetty for a short while. But the waves against the rocks were soothing.

Last night, I read "Osteology of the cryptocleidoid plesiosaur Tatenectes laramiensis, with comments on the taxonomic status of the Cimoliasauridae" from the new JVP, and we watched four more episodes of Buffy.

And those are the most interesting bits of the last two days. Today, I'm going to stay in and read all day. I need a break from the rain and fog, which seems to have settled in to stay for a while. There are a few photos, behind the cut. Also, I encourage everyone to have a look at Spooky's Etsy shop, Dreaming Squid Dollworks, where she's purveying her very adorable beasts. Every one of them, she's had to convince me to not to hide somewhere so she couldn't sell them.

April 2, 2009Collapse )