May 5th, 2008

Western Interior Seaway

By the lives that wove the web

And yesterday was the sort of "day off" that I dread, the usual sort. Truthfully, I should have had the good sense to leave the house, go to Fernbank or the Zoo in Grant Park or maybe the Botanical Gardens...anywhere. In fact, I didn't step outside the house all damn day. I thought I had a plan, but it spiraled into something else, which, as I have said, is the usual way of things. I could neither rest nor keep my mind occupied, and the frustration mounted, the frustration and the boredom.

High points of yesterday: I read Chapter 9 of Chris Beard's book on anthropoid origins (Chapter 9, "Resurrecting the Ghost"). The chapter was mainly concerned with Beard's fieldwork in the Eocene beds along the banks of China's Yellow River (Huáng Hé), between 1994-1997, before the strata were flooded by construction of one of the nation's many idiotically short-sighted hydroelectric dam projects. I packed only two boxes.

And speaking of the packing of the second box, I shall now offer another unsolicited testimony to the durability of Apple computers. Somehow, I tangled my ankle in the power cord of my seven-year-old iBook last night, pulled it off the desk, and it fell three feet to a hardwood floor. And besides a bent jack on the yo-yo power adapter thingy — which is not truly a part of the actual computer — no apparent damage was done. It's only my secondary computer at this point, as I now work on the iMac, but it was still a moment of sheer fucking horror, watching it crash to the floor. I assumed the worst. I was amazed. Thank you, Apple.

Oh, but that was not a high point. Uhm. There must have been others. We watched two more episodes from Season One of Millennium ("Powers, Principalities, Thrones and Dominions" and "Broken World"). I built a sort of homage to Dr. Suess' McElligot's Pool behind my Abney Park Laboratory (in Second Life). To quote the message I posted to the New Babbage forum (written, of course, as Prof. Nishi):

"The Abney Park Well:

While trying to recalibrate a portion of the lateral array of my temporal-spatial teleportation beam, I confess that I accidentally confused the X and Z axes, and, thereby, vaporized a vertical shaft of masonry and bedrock just behind the laboratory. The width of the vacated area is approximately 4.2 metres in diameter, with a depth of some 100 metres. The accident has unexpectedly tapped into some subterranean extension of the Mare Verne, creating an Artesian well (though the salinity of the water renders it unpotable). However, initial investigations indicate that the pool is inhabited by a number of species of marine life, including fish of various sorts. All those curious are invited to visit the pool (which, for the sake of public safety, I have walled in) and fish there. I have named the pool in honour of that great, lately deceased New Babbage ichthyologist, Dr. Theodor Geisel McElligot. No swimming, please. Study of this new hydrological feature will continue..."

Spooky (Artemisia) did most of the actual work. I did the design. And yes, you can really fish there, and really catch fish. I also made a few new LJ icons, inspired by what I'd written about Panthalassa yesterday. The one that I'm using today is, of course, a view of North America during the Late Creaceous, with the Mississippi Embayment and the Western Interior Seaway very prominent. I also did one of Pangaea, and one of a Tyrannosaurus rex, and a William Stout painting of a trilobite. I did a little work on the Palaeozoic Museum in New Babbage, adding another of Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins paintings and two lithographs of Archaeopteryx. That was the best of yesterday.

Today, we make corrections to the manuscript of A is for Alien, which came back to me from sovay and Massachusetts on Friday.

And here, a mere 21 days remain until Birthday No. -04. Shudder. Belatedly, I'm taking a cue from docbrite and faustfatale, and declaring the whole month of May to be my Royal Birthday Month. So, if you are given to such things, here's my Amazon wish list. Thank you. You wouldn't think a world could get this much more messed up in only -04 years, but you'd be wrong.

I want to write more about Panthalassa — particularly about how one can simultaneously be an atheist and a polytheist, and how one of the things that, increasingly, disturbs me about "orthodox" Wicca ("Gardnerian") is that it is drifting ever nearer a default monotheism, a sort of surrogate Xtianity where the tripartite goddess stands in for Jesus/"God"/the Holy Spirit (maybe chuck the Virgin Mary in there as a "female" mask), and any number of Panthalassa-related issues. But this is getting long. I'll save it for tomorrow, instead.