April 29th, 2008


I can haz positively and negatively charged ions.

Spooky just told me that the foreclosure rate in the US has jumped 112%, on average more than doubling over the last year, with Nevada, Florida, and California being the hardest hit. Actually, the increase in California was 213%. And so it goes.

So, yesterday I was Distraction's bitch. You know Distraction, right? One of the nine of the Seven Deadly Sins of Writing. Anyway, I think I left myself wide open by getting up too late, then spending too much time on my LJ entry. After that, well, there was the lease for the new place in Providence (mailed off yesterday), and there was research I should have done days and days ago, and there was lunch, and there were questions about when the moving company is coming to give us an estimate, and there were hydrothermal vents on Mars, and there was news of the new Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds album — Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! — and there was email, and there was a sudden obsession with figuring out which of my British Museum prehistoric animals had come from Philadelphia in 1986 and which from London in 1997. And so forth.

The research, for "Rappaccini's Dragon" (for Sirenia Digest #30) concerned tracking down the following quote from Robert Burton's very, very lengthy The Anatomy of Melancholy, What it is: With all the Kinds, Causes, Symptomes, Prognostickes, and Several Cures of it. In Three Maine Partitions with their several Sections, Members, and Subsections. Philosophically, Historically, Opened and Cut up (1621):

Mithridates by often use, which Pliny wonders at, was able to drink poison; and a maid, as Curtius records, sent to Alexander from King Porus, was brought up with poison from her infancy.”

Now, I knew that bit about Porus (Parvataraja) sending the tainted woman to Alexander came from Burton, but finding my way through that maze to discover that, in fact, it came from the First Partition, Section 2, Member 2, Subsection 1, that was another matter. And I start reading, and I keep reading, even when I know Distraction has intervened and I am no longer seeking the relevant passage, but just reading. Oh, and on top of Robert Burton, there was also a related bit from the Hindu Pranas I needed to find, and that led down another avenue of Distraction. In the end, I wrote a meager 268 usable words yesterday.

Then I took a damn bath. I did not leave the house yesterday. Spooky made a pot of chili for dinner, and we watched the eleventh episode of Millennium. And then, despite AADD-afflicted Leetspeaking dumbasses who choose names like Ferretfart Frog (I'm not making that one up), I spent a few hours on Second Life, rping with Pontifex and Ardere. Imagine a film co-directed by Alex Proyas, David Lynch, and Joss Whedon, in which demons congregate in a deserted nightclub in 22nd Century Tokyo, throw in lots of blood and a trippy cyberlounge soundtrack, and there's the rp we did last night. I think the MMPA would have rated it Z. But, I was a good nixar and made it to bed by 2 ayem. I think I was asleep well before three. Go me.

One of the very few good things about packing is finding things you'd thought you'd lost. A few days ago, it was my copy of Animal Ghosts, a book I ordered from one of those Scholastic Books fliers back in 1973 or '74, when I was in fourth grade. The book was actually published in 1971 by Xerox Education Publications, and produced by Walt Disney. Its an odd mix of actual and fanciful paleontology and neobiology, with a smattering of cryptozoology thrown in. I think what made it one of my favourite books for several years were the better than average black-and-white illustrations — lots of old-school dinosaurs and such, often portrayed in rather dynamic (if sometimes absurd) situations. Anyway, yeah, book not lost. There are a couple of scans behind the cut (but, again, I warn you that they are LARGE):

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Also, Spooky just (humglum) posted her photos of the dinosaur-washing ordeal of Sunday, which you can see here. And yes, that is the magical Liopleurodon that can show us all the way to Candy Mountain (hiding behind the Brachiosaurus).