June 27th, 2006


June was but a blur.

Happy birthday to robyn_ma.

The morning hasn't gone so well. My sinuses and the associated headache are even worse than yesterday, and yesterday they were bad enough to keep me from writing. Worse still, Spooky's iBook is on the fritz again. The logic board was replaced, but now something else seems to be amiss, so she's backing her data up as I type. This afternoon, we'll likely head back uptown to the shiny hell of Lenox Mall. Joy, joy, joy.

As I've said, the headache yesterday made writing impossible, so I finally admitted defeat and got dressed and we left the house about 2:30 p.m. Spooky needed to go to a bead shop in Decatur (ghoul eyes). The rain kept coming and going, lightning and thunder & etc. We ended up at a used bookshop on Highland, a nice enough place, though pricier than Books Again. I was very good and bought nothing. We were dismayed to see that all the trees lining both sides of the street at the intersection of N. Highland and Virgina Ave. have been cut down. All of them. A total of 15 trees. We asked a woman working at the bookshop why "they" cut down the trees, and she told us, "Because they're insane." She then went on to explain some lunacy about widening sidewalks. These were big, shady trees. They made the street pleasant to look at and kept it cool on hot summer days. Never mind that, with its abysmal air quality and excessive heat from urban microclimates, Atlanta can ill afford to lose a single tree. Of course, they were also living organisms, above and beyond their benefits to human beings and other creatures. And they were murdered for wider sidewalks (which, by the way, means less parking where there was virtually none to start with). This is the way Atlanta works. When faced with any given problem, the least reasonable solution is always the one that's chosen by city officials and merchants.

After the bookshop, we headed over the Whole Foods for two-days worth of groceries. The hunt for a good organic and sulfite-free red wine continues. We settled for more of the passable stuff from last week. But the avacados and tomatoes were good. And you know what, this frelling entry is already boring the crap out of me. So, I think I'll close with a few photos, which will hopefully be somewhat more interesting than anything I've written here:

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The month is almost gone. At this point, I'd be extremely pleased if the CEM of Daughter of Hounds is delayed until @ least Monday.

Addendum: Radiata Stories, fifteen trees, etc.

Back from Lenox. I'll say more about that tomorrow. Or I'll decide it's entirely too dull and not worth the effort. One way or another. Six of one, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Last night, I finally got the chance to play Radiata Stories (2005), which I'd been looking forward too, what with it being Square Enix, all the hype, and the scads of glowing reviews. I played for about an hour and a half. And my personal verdict is that this is one of the most vapid, one of the dullest, one of the all-round worst RPGs I've ever played. And the music is without a doubt the worst I've ever encountered in any game. The animation is merely so-so. The gameplay manages to be both simplistic and awkward. I think the only thing in that hour and a half that I actually half enjoyed was an encounter with a stiffly animated giant ground sloth. This is a game I'd been looking forward to and very much wanted to like. And once again, I must ask why videogame producers are unwilling to hire people to write their scripts who can actually, you know, write? At least for the dialogue. Hell, writers work cheap, most of us. Anyway, there you go. I suppose it's best this way. I certainly don't have the time right now to get sucked into a good RPG.

This afternoon at lunch, I told Spooky I felt just a little silly making a fuss over those fifteen murdered trees on Highland Ave., given global deforestation rates, given the fact we've lost more than 80% of the planet's natural forests (source, World Resources Institute). What's another fifteen trees? And she nodded at the Atlanta skyline, the thick grey haze that made the tall buildings merely dim and broiling silhouettes. And I sighed and conceded that she had a point. She's far better at dodging the despair bullets than I am. You might say I have trouble seeing the individual trees for the forests that are being destroyed. Anyway...

My thanks to everyone who has had kind things to say about the latest issue of Sirenia Digest, most especially David Kirkpatrick (corucia), who took time to write not one, but two long and thoughtful e-mails on his reaction to "The Black Alphabet." I'm in a very — what's the appropriate word? — discouraged place just now, artistically, and every little bit helps. Really. So, thanks.