May 17th, 2008


I am the Bad Wolf. I create myself. I take the words...

Oh, if only I had magical coffee, the coffee that bestows instant and perfect wakefulness, and eternal youth. That coffee. No, I just have this milky brown water.


Yesterday morning, Spooky took the following two photos (behind the cut) of me while I was trying to wake up. They should give you some idea of the disassembly of the hole where I hide...I mean, the office. Fold it all up. Stick it a box. Send it a thousand miles northeast. And hope this is the last big move, ever.

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Yesterday, I wrote 1,138 words on Chapter One of The Red Tree. Good pages. I think I'm finally beginning to find my way into Sarah Crowe. And after the writing, there was, of course, packing. Sorting through a mountain of papers and such atop my file cabinet (visible in the first photo, packed or discarded now) and on a shelf. But the good news is that Byron showed up about 6:15 pm, and we went to the Vortex for dinner. Moose was our waiter, which is always good. Afterwards, back home, we watched the final episode of the 9th Doctor's run, "A Parting of the Ways," because I found myself needing Christopher Eccleston. And then there was Martha Jones in the new episode of the current series, and then a particularly good episode of Battlestar Galactica. Good enough that even the commercials didn't ruin it for me. Afterwards, I spent a little quiet time in New Babbage (Second Life), mostly just sitting in the Great Hall of the Palaeozoic Museum, listening to a recorded thunderstorm (on Radio 3, Bratislava), unwinding, contemplating future exhibits. Later, Miss Paine (Spooky) showed up, and we walked down to her pie shop in the Canal District, on Bow Street. There's a room upstairs I rather love.

And after that little bit of Second Life, Spooky read to me from House of Leaves. That most frustrating chapter, at least for me. XVI. The examination of the wall samples, following the "Evacuation" of the house on Ash Tree Lane. But most of the data recovered by Mel O'Geery's Princeton lab, the knowledge of the age and geological composition of those walls, has been lost, replaced with XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX, because Johnny placed a leaky fucking jar of ink on that stack of pages. And pages went missing at the publisher. And, on the one hand, every time I read the book, this section drives me mad, and on the other, this is Danielewski doing it exactly right. He taunts with hints of answers, then pulls back, lest the mystery be dissolved in mere fact. When Spooky got sleepy, I read some of Chapter 7 ("Osborn, Nature, and Evolution") of the Henry Fairfield Osborn biography. At 2 ayem, I turned off the lights and drifted down to the dreams.

Spooky's taking Hubero to the vet at 2 pm, to have him checked out before the move, and to get him a bottle of kitty Valium.

Oh, and I should post this again, because the sale price of $12.99 is good until Monday:

Reynolds/Washburne 2008

And, also,

A Remembrance, Monsters, Etc.

Cleaning my office, packing, I came across an invitation to the 70th anniversary of the opening of the Lynn-Henley Building of the Birmingham Public Library (which, at the time, was the Birmingham Public Library). This is the same building I visited on Tuesday and spoke of in my first entry on Thursday, the reading room with the Ezra Winter murals. Anyway, so I found an invitation to the 70th anniversary, April 7th, 2002. The building was opened to the public in 1932. My Grandmother Ramey was 17 years old. The US President was Herbert Hoover. Amelia Earhart flew from the US to Ireland in 14 hours and 54 minutes. Anyway, here's a contemporary illustration of the library, the one from the invitation:

Also, there was a somewhat odd list on Yahoo today, "The Good, the Bad, and the Slimy: 20 Great Movie Creatures." Some of these truly are iconic movie creatures — Kong, Giger's Alien, Jabba the Hutt, Godzilla, Oz's flying monkeys, Harryhausen's skeletons, Gollum, and heck, maybe even the magnificently erotic Davey Jones. A couple may, in time, prove to be iconic — the "Pale Man" from Pan's Labyrinth and the creature from The Host. But the list, as a whole, shows too much of what paleontologists call "the pull of the recent." That is, it's top-loaded with creatures from very recent films. In a list of 20 films spanning 1933-2008, 75 years, fully 50% of the list is derived from films released in the last six years! Even admitting that advances in CGI and SFX make-up are giving us many marvelous new monsters these days, this is baloney. Where's Lugosi's Dracula, Karloff's incarnation of Frankenstein's creature, Gort, or the "gill man" from the Black Lagoon? All of these are clearly more iconic, and far more deserving than some of those who made the list. The "ultra-cute baby Loch Ness monster" from The Water Horse? Not. Kraecher from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix? Wrong. The gelflings from The Dark Crystal. Nope (though you might make a case for the Skeksis). Saphria from the godsawful Eragon? That's a joke, right? You want a dragon, then choose Vermithrax Pejorative from Dragonslayer or Maleficent's draconic incarnation from Disney's classic Sleeping Beauty. Sheesh, people. Someone needs to look up the word "icon" in a dictionary and try again.