August 28th, 2012


"There in the midst of it, so alive and alone, words support like bone."

I felt very good yesterday, for the most part, but today there are thunderstorms moving across the state, and they seem to be dragging my mood along with them. Often, I would like to believe that my emotions exist somehow beyond neurological biochemistry and a host of external stimuli, that my mental illnesses have a greater "meaning" than these causes, but I can never manage that superstitious trick. Where would that mean they exist? I am not a "spiritual" or religious person, obviously. "Mind" is only a function of the brain, and the brain reacting with a myriad of other biological and environmental factors. And, likely, what I feel now is no more than the storms, the nightmares I had last night, my aching feet, bad memories, and so forth. That's why I have my pills. because we are always haunted, to quote Imp and to paraphrase Poe (Anne Decatur Danielewski, not Edgar Allan).


A good day for comments, if you have anything to say. Though, please don't attempt to engage me in arguments/dialogues about the mind/body dualism, philosophy of the mind, or anything of that sort. You'll only make things on this end much, much worse. And, in response, I won't be nice. I'd like to be nice today.


Yesterday's follow-up mission to Sunday's incomplete mission, or Bear Hunt #2, had mixed and curious results. On the one hand, we found the "bear fountain" (photos behind the cut). But, it turns out it wasn't sculpted by Eli Harvey, as I'd been led to believe by one of Charles R. Knight's letters, but by a German sculptor. This is easier if I quote a website at Brown University:

When Faunce House was built, a bear fountain was installed in the courtyard. A present from Theodore Francis Green 1887, who had promoted the bear as Brown’s mascot, the bear is a bronze replica of one which he found presiding over a fountain in Breslau, Germany. Green made arrangements with the German sculptor, Professor Ernest Moritz Geyger, to cast a replica of the bear for Brown.

Also, Brown University's website on the bear sculptures claims there are only four on campus (we've yet to see the "Kodiak" or the "Maddock Alumni Bear." And yet, Charles R. Knight writes, in a letter to Henry Fairfield Osborn, the following:

...Now that Brown [University] has eight brown bears done by Mr. [Eli] Harvey...

i can only conclude, though it seems somewhat unlikely, that Knight was mistaken about the provenance of all but one of the Brown University bears (the "Kodiak" is actually a taxidermied mount and the "Maddock" bear was sculpted by Nicholas Swearer, and both date from the 1940s, twenty years after Knight's letter to Osborn). So, we have a Bear Mystery. I may write a letter to Knight's estate and another to Brown University, to try and solve this. But it's hard to believe that Knight was mistaken about Harvey having done eight bears, if he'd only done one.

After our second bear hunt, we had sushi at Tokyo on Wickenden Street. Later, we made a HUGE batch of guacamole.

And here are photos from yesterday:

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Seeking Mercy,
Aunt Beast

World Wide Fuck You

There are good reasons I never read my books after they're published. Here's a "for example," from just last night.

Last night, I happened to pick up The Drowning Girl: A Memoir and was sort of randomly flipping through the pages, and on page 265, paragraph 2, beginning on line 3, Abalyn says, "One can only imagine how much more damage [cut for spoiler] might have managed if she'd had the World Wide Web at her disposal."

Now, I don't fucking care what fucking style manuals say, Style manuals have ZERO relevance to prose. Abalyn is an extremely computer savvy woman, and never in a million years would she have said "World Wide Web." And had she written it down, she certainly wouldn't have capitalized it (no matter what a style manual might say).

No one has said "World Wide Web" since, what, 1997? 1998, at best?

Here's the thing. I didn't write that. I wrote, simply, "web." The CEM came, which was an especially bad one. I STETed all over. The galley pages came, and most of my changes were there in the corrected galley (the book is printed based on the galleys). Then, at a point when no additional corrections or changes should have been made by ANYONE, someone at Penguin made a random series of edits. Many really are very awful, worse than "World Wide Web." I got pissed, attempts were made to discover who in production made these mysterious changes and why, but since this sort of stuff isn't logged (I was told), the asshole responsible could not be identified. I likely wrote about it at the time, here in the journal.

So. When you see that idiotic line, don't blame me. I did my job. I can't be held accountable for the incompetence of others.

For Sale,
Aunt Beast