No work again today. I woke up an hour and a half late.
The highlight of the day was a phone call from Drew Gentry, the UAB/McWane paleontologist with whom I am working on various Late Cretaceous turtle papers. It was a good conversation. We hadn't spoken outside email and Twitter DMs since McWane closed for the lockdown in March 2020. It was good just talking turtles, things that have yet to be done and how to do them, the importance of this or that specimen to understanding the evolution of various fresh- and saltwater lineages, but it inevitably became a conversation about COVID and the dumpster fire that the state of Alabama has become as it struggles to do everything imaginable except deal with COVID-19. (Our caseload has quintupled in the past ten days, as people continue to refuse vaccination and mask.) Like me, he just recently came home to Alabama after many years away from home, and, like me, he finds this is no longer a place that sane, rational people worried about the lives of their loved ones can live. Oh, and we talked about Guild Wars 2. And the sudden rash of people acting like lunatics on airplanes.
Falling in deeply passionate, lifelong love with a group of animals that have been extinct for 66 mya*, which you will never see alive but always ache to see alive - there ought to be a word for that. Maybe it's just "paleontologist."
About yesterday – I try, these days, not to sink to such profound displays of public angst. Yes, my feelings are valid. Doesn't mean I should be sharing them with the world. I find it unsightly. But I've been week lately, struggling with what's to come,how to cope with the delta variant and all the variants to come, facing a possible second lockdown, etc. Still unable to leave the house for long stretches. So, moving forward, I'm going to try to keep more of that to myself. Now, that's me. As they say, you do you, What works for you, might not work for me and vice versa. I am judging myself and no one else. And I should not have to say that.
Dozens of reasons for anti-vaxer hysteria, but in the case of the COVID-19 vaccine I'm pretty sure a lot of it arises from a failure to understand how decimal points work.
I'm also going to talk very soon about gender again, and how someone can be both transsexual* and genderfluid/non-binary, because lots of people don't understand the difference between sex (biology) and gender (culture), and my own views are (like turtles) evolving, and Wikipedia is hilariously bad at dealing with this shit.
Today is World Snake Day. That matters.
We're watching For All Mankind on AppleTV+, an alt history presupposing the Soviets were the first on the moon, and it's very well made, and it has potential, but there's something about it that bothers me. We're only about four episodes into the two existing seasons, so more later.
And I am expected in another corner of the internet in fifteen minutes, so lets wrap this up.
Later Taters Beans,
* million years ago
** Widespread adoption of the word "transgender" really mucked things up.