This is what I get for being kind to spiders.

Oh, look. ANOTHER shitty, wasted day. And yes, all the evil in the world can be boiled down the wastefulness of one sort or another.

Also, these stupid fucking kids and their stupid fucking TikTok challenges, can you please just go back to rebelling against your parents and society and whatever else you feel so keen a need to rebel against by smoking and drinking and cutting class? Because, honestly, you're acting like a bunch of idiots (and I'm sure some of you are not acting, but...). Fuck the "influencers."

Yes. This is my mood. I am sick of the rash, and I'd post photos so you'd understand how gross and uncomfortable it is. But I won't. Because it really is gross and, anyway, some dip-shit kid would decide that contact dermatitis is cool or dope or sick or GOAT* and then fifty more would, and then a thousand more, and so on.

That edge in my voice, it's called spite.


Yes, that felt good.

No, no work today. Neither fiction writing nor the business of fiction writing nor even paleontology. Nothing. See what I said above about waste. I missed the chance to see a special staff-only screening of Dune in the McWane IMax, which is actually more horrible than how the rash has made me feel. But I would have been uncomfortable the whole time (pants, remember?), so what would have been the point. No, that sentence should not end with a question mark. I did begin reading The Missing Lynx: The Past and Future of Britain's Lost Mammals by Ross Barnet, a paleontologist who specializes in felid DNA. I watched the Directors Cut of Alex Proyas' Dark City (1998). I itched.

Leftover Chinese for dinner. What I said about waste applies.

Gloomy, overcast first half of the day. Then sun. Our high was 76˚F.

Want a Monster Doodle sticker (see photo below)? They're really GOAT* and only $2.50/ea. Only $1.25/ea. if you buy ten (and you can mix and match designs to get ten). Plus, don't forget eBay. Thank you.

Aunt Beast

4:33 p.m.

* "Greatest of all Time." I did not make that up.

Entry No. 6,294

A mostly sunny day. Our high was 76˚F.

There is really almost nothing to be said for this day. Still recovering from the rash.

I did finish reading Dean R. Lomax's Locked in Time: Animal Behavior Unearthed in 50 Extraordinary Fossils. I watched two documentaries, one on the Klondike gold rush and another about Henry Ford.

Spooky got Chinese takeout for dinner. (We are just starting to trust takeout again.)

I think I have to stop taking the damn antihistamine. The world is taking on an unreal, distant quality that is anything but pleasant, and all the routine that keeps me sane is raveling.

Please have a look at the eBay auctions. Spooky's put some good stuff up.

Later Tater Beans,
Aunt Beast

6:23 p.m.
Roy Batty

Postcards from the Air Mattress

Sunny today. Our high was 75˚F, and it is now...still 75˚F.

The past two days have been spent, largely, lying on an air mattress in the living room, babying this dermatitis afflicted leg, zonked on antihistamines. I did at least read today. Everything that I've written so far on The Night Watchers. An article in JVP, "A new diapsid with a unique tooth structure from the Middle Triassic (Ladinian) of Germany." I watched a episode of Frontline about the Boeing 737 MCAS fiasco, and then watched a two-hour Nova episode on black holes. So, at least I was trying to make my brain work.

Last night Kathryn and I saw Denis Villeneuve's Dune (thank you, HBO Max). It was pretty much everything I'd hoped for, only better. Great cast. Even Jason Momoa turned in a good performance. The atmosphere, the tone, the pacing, the minimalist soundtrack, the film's exquisite color palate, and the design of sandworms, just wow. I have a feeling I'll watch it at least once more in the coming week. I just with Frank Herbert could have seen this.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thank you.

Later Tater Beans,
Aunt Beast

5:02 p.m.

"I'm on the outside looking through."

Sunny today. Our high was 73˚F, and it is now 67˚F.

There's not much to see here, I'm afraid. Mostly, I'm trying to stay off this leg while it heals.

I did watch the extended cut of Peter Jackson's Return of the King (2003), and while it's not my favorite of the trilogy, there's still an awful lot there to love – Pippin's song, Eowyn taking out the Witch King, and so forth.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thanks.

Later Tater Beans,
Aunt Beast

6:06 p.m.


Sunny most of today, and warm. Our high was 80˚F, with a heat index of 82˚F, and it is now 70˚F. And last night, and well after dawn, there were terrific thunderstorms. Thunder that literally caused the windows and walls to shudder.

The thunder kept waking me. The itching kept waking me. So, not much sleep.

I forgot, yesterday, to mention that the audiobook of Beneath an Oil-Dark Sea has been nominated for a 2021 Sovas "Voice Arts" Award. Which I had never heard of, can get the audiobook on CD or download or whatever, via Amazon and Audible.

Today's movie was the extended version of Jackson's The Two Towers (2002), my favorite of the trilogy. Like the first film, it holds up marvelously after all these years. Even CGI Gollum looks pretty good.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thank you.

Later Tater Beans,
Aunt Beast

4:00 p.m.

"Show me yours and I'll show you mine. Meet me in the woods tonight." (Redux 2)

Sunny today and warmer. Our high was 80˚F, with a heat index of 81˚F. It is currently 73˚F. I was able to have the window open while I did a little prep work this morning.

Not a good day. The Benadryl, which is successfully treating the spider-bite induced dermatitis, makes Jell-O of my mind.

The afternoon's movie was the extended cut of Peter Jackson's Fellowship of the Rings (2001). It was really too long for an afternoon movie – almost four hours – but it's not like I was fit for anything else. The film has held up remarkably well, and I think it owes a LOT of that to how Weta Workshop managed the SFX. Boromir is still the best.

Here's eBay. Thanks.

Aunt Beast

6:24 p.m.
Cordon C3

Open Wide

Another sunny day, a little warmer. Our high was 74˚F, and it is currently 73˚F.

So, why did I not get to go to McWane this week, either? Remember the spider bite/s that stopped me last week? Well, they trigger a fairly bad dermatitis outbreak, on both my inner thighs, and the last few days have been miserable. I could not even imagine putting on pants this morning. Plus. I'm doped up on antihistamines that are helping, slowly, but that make complex thought more challenging that usual. I think the worst of the itching is past, but it's still pretty ugly. Why did I not mention this before? Well, it's fucking gross, and the older I get the less I want to talk about my wretched health issues.

Last night, we began the final season of The Walking Dead, and those first two episodes did not disappoint.

Today's movie was Gareth Edwards' Rogue One (2016), which I am pretty sure is as close as any Star Wars film ever will come to perfection.

Also, I finished reading William Craig's Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad and began Meredith Hindley's Destination Casablanca: Exile, Espionage, and the Battle for North Africa in World War II.

Aunt "Itchy" Beast

4:23 p.m.

Temporal Exhaustion

Sunny today, but chilly. Our high was 71˚F. Currently, it's 66˚F, and we are expecting a low of 46˚F.

Spooky got me a new space heater today from Target. The old one was a power hog. So, I used a space heater today for the first time since early last spring.

Didn't right, talked with Kathryn some about The Night Watchers. Did an hour and a half of prep on Winifred. The teeth on that pterygoid are slowing me down.

The afternoon's movie was J.J. Abrams Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019). Each time I revisit this film, I like it a little more, but also, paradoxically become more aware what a wreck of a film it is. It's such a bloated mess, at least half an hour than it needed to be. There's the Rose problem, which I already discussed. Basically, one wonder what happened to the course charted in the two previous films. This one seem to throw caution and continuity to the winds and goes off somewhere on it's own, muttering about...stuff. There is a lot of stuff in this film. But it isn't all bad. For example, it has the very best lightsaber battle in all nine of the films (Rey and Kylo is the sea-lashed ruins of the Death Star). And that scene between Kylo Ren and Han Solo is gold. But nothing can, ultimately save it from its own cockeyed excesses. I really loved what Abrams did in The Force Awakens. It was fresh and vibrant. This was stale and canned.


Do not forget the eBay auctions. Thanks.

Later Tater Beans,
Aunt Beast

12:09 p.m. (yesterday)

"Lay down with them if you want, watch their breath and feel the cold."

Sunny day, but chilly. Thank goodness the sun is warm. Our high was only 67˚F. It's now 66˚F, as the sun begins to set, and our low is supposed to be 45˚F.

So, yeah. Hello, Autumn.

I got in some good time on the Winifred jacket today. I hope that tomorrow morning I will be going back to work on The Night Watchers, that I will have shaken the last of the black mood and the last of the latest round of self doubt.

Last night we finished Season Two of See (AppleTV+), and it really was very good. This show has gone a long way towards redeeming Jason Momoa for the atrocity that was Aquaman. And then we started catching up on Ted Lasso.

Today, two older Ken Burns documentaries, both from the nineties, I think, one on the Brooklyn Bridge and one of the Statue of Liberty. And the latter set me to thinking how an awful lot of Americans might actually be unaware that this country has always had very mixed feelings, often flashing to violent hostility, towards immigration. Ask the Irish, the Italians, Jews of all nationalities, the Chinese, the Swedes, on. We're just stuck in one of the worst such periods of hostilities.

Last night, Jon Stewart said, “The media does a terrible job at de-escalation and de-escalation is the antidote to all this nonsense.” Which is too fucking true and led me to comment today on Twitter, “And, hontesly, social media is not only an escalation machine, it's an outrage junkie. I have trouble imagining it ever existing in peace.”

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thank you.

Later Tater Beans,
Aunt Beast

4:47 p.m.
Roy Batty

Fourteen Daughters

Sunny today, but much cooler. Our high was a measly 66˚F, and it is currently 58˚F. The low tonight will be 45˚F.

So, that's the bad news.

But it was a slightly better day. All in all. I got no work done, but I didn't break anything.

I watched a two-hour PBS documentary on uranium.

I listened to music.

We had Chinese leftovers for dinner.

That was today. Oh, wait. I left the house for about two minutes to empty a cup of water. It was cold.

There. That was today.

Aunt Beast

10:40 a.m.