January 12th, 2010

Yeah, I've missed a couple of days.

1. On Sunday, I wrote 1,069 words, and finished the prologue to The Wolf Who Cried Girl. Or, at least I hoped that I had. I had a hot bath, and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. We were having Sonya (sovay) and Geoffrey (readingthedark) over, and Sonya's train arrived at 7:20 p.m. (CaST). I didn't want to go out in the cold, especially considering I'd left the House only the day before to go down to Warwick (office supplies, etc.). But Spooky more or less ordered me to go along. So, I bundled up and braved the glacier slicking our driveway.

Not too long after we got back, Geoffrey arrived. And since we're on the second floor and our doorbell is broken, he announced his arrival by hurling a snowball at the window. Which worked. We got takeout from Fellini's on Wikenden. And then I read everyone the prologue (Spooky had not yet heard the end of it). It was met with approval, and I was tremendously relieved. Now, I only have to find my way into Chapter One. Afterwards, there was much good conversations, topics ranging from Readercon, sea chanteys, vile "salads" involving Jell-O and mayonnaise, Baudelaire and Nabokov, Lovecraft and how much the "holiday" season sucks, Crowley and how Cormac McCarthy was arrested in the seventies for having public sex with a watermelon and...I don't know. Lots and lots of things. But, then I had a moderate seizure, sometime after midnight. The worst of it was that I bit my tongue. Still, we watched Luc Besson's The Fifth Element (1997), which Sonya had never seen. Despite the way the seizure had left me feeling— foggy and wiped out —I didn't get to bed until about 5 a.m. (CaST).

2. On Monday, there was more conversation. Sonya had to catch a train back to Boston at 2:30ish. This time, I was not forced out into the cold. Geoffrey stayed, and we talked until dusk, when he headed back to Framingham. It was a good visit (my fit notwithstanding), and I wish I'd have people over more often. Of course, then less would get written. Last night, Spooky and I watched four more episodes of Fringe. I want a T-shirt that says, "Unless your IQ is higher than mine, I don't care."*

3. I want to remind everyone in the Brooklyn/Manhattan area, I'll be part of a Lovecraft Unbound reading this coming Friday night (January 15th) at the Montauk Club in Brooklyn. Naturally, I'll be reading from "Houses Under the Sea." And this will be my last public appearance until ReaderCon in July.

4. If you've not already, the platypus urges you to preorder The Ammonite Violin & Others.

5. The last week or so, I have allowed myself to wander back into Second Life. I thought I was out for good, but that aforementioned desperation for the lives that can only be lived through avatars and free-form roleplay with a visual interface drove me back in. It hasn't gone well, and I may now be in the process of seeking an exit strategy, or at least searching for a sim where morons make up somewhat less than 95% of the virtual population. Which is probably utterly futile. But it's so hard for me to give up on something I waited for all my life. It ought to be brilliant, and, instead, SL is a haven for the worst of the worst of the internet. I loathe SL, passionately, and yet it keeps drawing me back in.

6. Lastly, I'm getting some truly grand responses to the two polls— "If I were a monster you could summon...." and "If you had me alone, locked up in your house, for twenty-four hours and I had to do whatever you wanted me to" —those polls. There was something genuinely amazing last night from jacobluest. Anyway, I'll be reading your responses for at least another week and a half, maybe two. Thanks to everyone who has answered.

* 147-149, depending whether I refer to the test of '81 or the test of '90, respectively. Both were administered by licensed psychologists.
In 2009, approximately 44 new non-avian dinosaur genera* were named from fossils around the world** These are as follows:

01. Adeopapposaurus (Sauropodomorpha; Massospondylidae)
02. Aerosteon (Theropoda; Neovenatoridae)
03. Albalophosaurus (Cerapoda incertae sedis)
04. Anchiornis (Theropoda; Troodontidae)
05. Angulomastacator (Hadrosauridae; Lambeosaurinae)
06. Arenysaurus (Hadrosauridae; Lambeosaurinae)
07. Australovenator (Theropoda; Neovenatoridae)
08. Baotianmansaurus (Sauropodomorpha; Macronaria)
09. Barrosasaurus (Sauropodomorpha; Titanosauria)
10. Beishanlong (Theropoda; Ornithomimosauria)
11. Ceratonykus (Theropoda; Alvarezsauridae)
12. "Coahuilaceratops" (Cerapoda; Ceratopisa)
13. Diamantinasaurus (Sauropodomorpha; Titanosauria)
14. Elrhazosaurus (Iguanodontia; Dryosauridae: new designation for Valdosaurus nigeriensis).
15. Helioceratops (Cerapoda; Ceratopsia)
16. Hesperonychus (Theropoda; Dromaeosauridae)
17. Kemkemia (Theropoda incertae sedis)
18. Kinnareemimus (Theropoda; Ornithomimosauria)
19. Kol (Theropoda; Alvarezsauridae)
20. Leshansaurus (Theropoda; Sinraptoridae)
21. Levnesovia (Iguanodontia; Hadrosauroidea)
22. Limusaurus (Theropoda; Ceratosauria)
23. Malarguesaurus (Sauropodomorpha; Titanosauria)
24. Minotaurasaurus (Ankylosauria; Ankylosauridae)
25. Miragaia (Thyreophora; Stegosauridae)
26. Owenodon (Ornithopoda; Iquandodontia: new designation for Iguanodon hoggi)
27. Panphagia (Saurischia; Sauropodomorpha)
28. Qiaowanlong (Sauropodomorpha; Brachiosauridae)
29. Raptorex (Theropoda; Tyrannosauroidea)
30. Ruyangosaurus (Sauropodomorpha; ?Titanosauria)
31. Shaochilong (Theropoda; Carcharodontosauridae)
32. Shidaisaurus (Theropoda; Tetanurae)
33. Sinotyrannus (Theropoda; Tyrannosauroidea)
34. Spinophorosaurus (Sauropodomorpha; Sauropoda)
35. Skorpiovenator (Theropoda; Carnotaurinae)
36. Tatankacephalus (Ankylosauria; Ankylosauridae)
37. Tawa (basal Theropoda)
38. Tethyshadros (Ornithopoda; Hadrosauroidea)
39. Tianyulong (Ornithischia; Heterodontosauridae)
40. Tianyuraptor (Theropoda; Dromaeosauridae)
41. Wintonotitan (Sauropoda; Titanosauria)
42. Xinghesaurus***
43. Xiongguanlong (Theropoda; Tyrannosauroidea)
44. Zanabazar (Theropoda; Troodontidae)

Even if 10-20% of these taxa should ultimately be judged to be invalid (for whatever reason), that's still a very good year for dinosaurs.

Oh, and behind the cut, Nobu Tamura's "2009 in Paleontology":

Life"s Rich PageantCollapse )


*I've not included new species named to preexisting genera, or this list would be a bit longer.
**Olshevsky, George. "Dinogeorge's Dinosaur Genera List"
*** Invalid taxon