May 23rd, 2013

Shaw

"Shed these lung spires and breathe."

We who revel in nature's diversity and feel instructed by every animal tend to brand Homo sapiens as the greatest catastrophe since the Cretaceous extinction. ~ Stephen Jay Gould

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I don't trust new houses.

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This morning I dreamt Kathryn and I were standing on the shore of one of the Great Lakes. I don't know which one. Foamy white waves were surging all around our feet, and I was telling her how those lakes were the remnants of an ancient sea. I was telling her they were exceptionally salty, the Great Lakes. A turkey fluttered past, settling on the beach not far away. It looked as if it had been molded from green milk glass, that precise color and opacity. There was also something oddly dragonfly-like about the bird, though I can't now say what. The sky was brilliant with noctilucent clouds, though it was the middle of the day. Earlier, I'd dreamt of finding the skull of a mosasaur*, but most of that dream has faded away.

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Yesterday, I wrote 1,432 words, which got me halfway through the thirteenth and final installment of Alabaster: Boxcar Tales. Only four pages to go, and I'll be glad to put this one behind me. Well, I'm always glad to put them – the novels, short stories, etc. – behind me, but sometimes I'm extra glad. I also had to proof the art for #9 and then send my editor at Dark Horse my notes. Oh, and script notes for #10. And there was some weirdness involving tax forms for foreign editions, blah, blah, blah, but Spooky and Writers House kindly dealt with that.

The weather here was so-so yesterday. A little worse than so-so today. I was spoiled by Tuesday. Presently 72˚F and cloudy here in Providence. More eighties, please.

Last night, Spooky and I finished watching Hemlock Grove. Lots of fun and surprisingly well done. The acting has odd moments of unevenness, but that hardly distracts. All in all, the performances and writing are very good. Famke Jensen is especially delightful as the villainous matriarch. Some of the best werewolf transformation SFX ever. So, yes. Hemlock Grove. Angela Carter does Dark Shadows. I know I've invoked the name of Angela Carter twice in as many days, but she is, after all, one of my patron wantons. Also, we're watching Season Seven of Dexter. I've cut way, way back on gaming. It's all become horribly boring again. Even for a recluse, there must be be more to life than this (to quote Freddy Mercury).

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An odd thing. I was complaining to Spooky about baffling online slang, and that led to a general discussion of slang as a phenomenon associated more with subcultures than with linguistic evolution, and to a discussion of slang that attended various times and scenes and geographical regions (the Jazz Age, hippies in the sixties, Cockney rhyming slang, surfer slang, etc.), and that led to a rather peculiar realization: As a child and teenager, I used very little – virtually none – of the slang that would be associated with the seventies and early eighties. Almost none. I began trying to list words. I came up with "cool" and "man" (before the ubiquitous "dude") and one two more. I used a tiny bit of older slang I got from my mother – "neat," for example. Hell, "cool" and "man" weren't truly of my generation. It's all became very confusing. Sure, I used Southern Appalachian/Alabama euphemisms and dialect, but there was very little that followed from pop culture/subcultures. I'm still racking my brain over this. I didn't even truly discover profanity – another facet of slang – until I was in my mid teens (which might seem odd, what with me now being such a connoisseur of dirty words and all).

But, this was long before the internet. I posit that the internet has forever changed the evolution, propagation, and longevity of slang. It's an interesting problem. One at which I'm sure a million graduate students with a million typewriters...well, computers...are banging away.

But...I have a script to finish. I have red velvet theatre curtains to close.

Uncool,
Aunt Beast

* I have some variant of this dream at least once every two weeks.