March 19th, 2009

Starbuck 3

"So lose some sleep and say you tried."

Y managed to sleep an amazyng 7.5 hours last nyght, whych, the way thyngs have been goyng lately, seems lyke a lot.

Um....well. I was going to try writing the whole entry substituting Ys for Is, because, you know, Dave what'shisname, over at the "SyFy," channel says that Ys are waaaaaay hipper and "textable" and all. But I just can't do it. So, no gold star for me. I must remain unhip and literate.

Nothing was written yesterday, thanks to the effects of this recent bout of insomnia. I had Spooky read me what I'd written on "As Red as Red" on Tuesday, and it was much better than I'd expected. Then I sat in front of the computer, trying to write, jacked up on caffeine. I sat here maybe two hours. I wrote nothing. My mind was like a jittery, zombiefied mud puddle, and I just kept wanting to put my head down on the desk and sleep. Finally, we got dressed and went back down to Spooky's parents' place in Saunderstown. Being out in the sun did me good, though the wind was bitter. We talked to chickadees and refilled bird feeders, visited with Spider Cat and the relocated steamsquid, looked in on the chickens, watered the plants, and so on. I think we made it back home sometime after six p.m. Last night, I did a little rp with the Alpha Institute in Nor. But not much. I was just too entirely fucking sleep deprived. I logged off about eleven p.m., and Spooky and I watched three episodes from Season Three of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, until I was finally sleepy enough to, you know, sleep.

That was yesterday. Today, it's colder and cloudier. I'm having to adjust to a late March that looks more like early February. It's not as easy I'd hoped it would be. I weathered November and December and even most of January's extended snowpocalypse just fine. It wasn't until the start of February that this winter really began to wear on me.

If you haven't, please check out the latest round of eBay auctions. And/or pre-order a copy of the forthcoming trade paperback of Alabaster. Thank you.


On the subject of werewolves, which are on my mind, because "As Red as Red" is mostly a werewolf story, and specifically regarding werewolves in Second Life: When I say "werewolf," or "lycanthrope," I mean a supernatural being that spends part of its life as a woman or man, and part as a wolf, or as a human/wolf hybrid, living out a cycle generally dictated by lunar phases. Sadly, in most of the SL dark-fantasy sims where werewolves appear, they are, in actuality, played by furries, using the whole werewolf thing as an opportunity to trot out their anthropomorphic "funny animal" avatars. That is, if you're lucky, they look like Wile E. Coyote. More often than not, though, they look a lot more like people wearing those cartoonish sports-mascot outfits (available in many pastel shades). And the reason that I bother to complain about this is two fold. First, werewolves should be kind of creepy. Wile E. Coyote is emphatically not creepy. Or spooky. Or even a little macabre. He's funny, and cute, and more than a bit pathetic. Hell, I'll even readily admit that a good werewolf can be very sexy, but, even as objects of my deviant sexuality, I want them to retain their inherent, traditional creepiness.

The other reason has more to do with suspension of disbelief, which I need in rp the same as when I'm watching a movie or reading a book. If I'm in a good rp scene, and suddenly come face-to-face with the mascot for the local soccer team, it blows the whole thing, boom, right out of the fucking water. I suddenly find myself too busy laughing, looking for the zipper, and wondering where the SPH (strategically-placed hole) is located to actually rp. Never mind that the tension inherent in the lycanthrope/moon relationship is tossed aside. And it's not like there aren't very good, scary werewolf (male and female) avs readily available in SL. There are. I even own one.

If we have werewolves (or any other sort of lycanthrope, or "therianthrope") in the Alpha Institute (so far, we don't), they will not be furries by another name. And they will only appear in their wolf form when the moon is full in RL (as the moon is always full in SL), or during some other predetermined time. I know I'll likely catch flack for saying this, and someone will call me a "hater" and point out that being a lycan isn't a curse, it's a lifestyle choice or something like that. But I just can't handle the fursuit avs, or the 24/7/365 "otherkin." No roadrunners, either. Or wisecracking bunnies. Or yiffy "foxes" masquerading as kitsune. I don't have many rules, but that's one of them. And there are plenty of other Nor factions that do accept furries and call them lycans.


Time to make the doughnuts. And here are the last few photos from Monday's trip to Newport, shots of the Redwood Library and Athenaeum:

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Tyrannosaurus rex

H is for heterodontosaurid, Hesperonychus, and Hurdia

It's been a while since I've done the palaeontology news thingy, and there seems to have been a barrage of paleo' the last few days, so:

A tiny new "feathered" ornithischian dinosaur from China, the Early Cretaceous heterodontosaurid Tianyulong confuciusi. My thanks to David Kirkpatrick for sending me a PDF of the Nature article on this wonderful beast.

Life restoration of Tianyulong.

Skeleton of Tianyulong.

Also, we have another tiny, new dinosaur, the smallest carnivorous yet known from North America, Hesperonychus elizabethae, a 19-inch tall theropod from the Late Cretaceous of Alberta, Canada.

An Hesperonychus claw resting upon a quarter.

From the diminutive to the rather large, something for fans of invertebrates, Hurdia victoria, a half-meter long predatory arthropod from the famous Cambrian-aged Burgess Shale of British Columbia. My thanks to mechangel for pointing me towards this one.

Life restoration of Hurdia

Neat stuff, indeed.