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Howard Hughes vs. Stuff

Er...crappy day yesterday. No words written. Zero. Zilch. Etc. Just a very constructive call from my agent. Otheriwse, I sat here for hours staring at a blank screen. I have looked over the vignette ideas that were submitted yesterday, and, alas, none of them have really, really set the bells ringing. A couple came close, but likely would have sprawled into full-blown short stories, and here it is the 26th and Sirenia Digest #28 needs to go out on the 31st (at the latest). So, if you'd like to please keep making suggestions, the contest still stands (winner gets hisherits choice of a signed and personalized copy of the Beowulf novelization or the new mmp of Murder of Angels.), but I probably won't be using the winning idea until #29.

Why does "science writing" for the masses have to be so stupid? To wit, this story from LiveScience.com, "Fastest Evolving Creature is 'Living Dinosaur'." No. The tuatara is not a dinosaur, not in any sense, but, rather, the last surviving sphenodontid rhynchocephalian. And while the rhynchocephalian lineage can be traced back to at least the Triassic, calling it a "living dinosaur" is almost as dumb as calling a horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus) a "living trilobite." Also, the LiveScience.com article manages to misspell the Latin name for the tuatara as "Sphendon punctatus," when it is actually Sphenodon punctatus. But, you know what? I bet you don't care, and I am far too groggy to be this pedantic right now.

And why is it that when you post a "housing wanted" ad to Craiglist, and say the most you're willing/capable to pay per month is $1,150, people write back offering you a place that rents for $1,650? I mean, that's $6000 more a year.

Oh, and did I mention that Spooky has gone on a name-squatting spree on Second Life? We now have Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh. She's even created a pretty good avatar likeness of Cope, and it's only a matter of time before the two square off in the Palaeozoic Museum in New Babbage.

Hey, what do you expect from a journal entry titled "Howard Hughes vs. Stuff"?

Warmer weather today, and that's something I won't complain about.

Tell you what, I'll just leave you with more photos of Oakland Cemetery, or the Oakland That Was before the storms of March 14-15. Behind the cut:

All photos copyright © 2007 by Caitlín R. Kiernan

Postscript: Spooky just found weevils in the flour. No, not the Torchwood sort.


Mar. 26th, 2008 06:09 pm (UTC)
It's not just Craigslist. I wish I could say that it was the Interweb (I adore the idiots on eBay who read the postings "I will not stop an auction once started" and promptly ask "Could you stop the auction if I give you $5 for your item?", or the dolts who read measurements on an item of clothing and promptly ask "How big is it?"), but I used to deal with that in old newspaper classified ads as well. The price on that 90-gallon fishtank is already ridiculously low at $350, so calling up to whine "I can give you $100 for it, but you'll have to deliver it out here" impresses me not a jot.

The absolute worst are the SMU sorority sisters who try to fill positions for temp companies: I used to get constant calls where a bozo would see my resume for a technical writer position, tell me that they had a perfect two -week assignment in Austin or Houston for $8 an hour and no benefits that requires ten years of experience in software that had been around for six months, and would get angry with me because neither I nor anyone else on the planet had the skills they were seeking. (I had one asshole call me at nearly midnight one night for one of these positions, and when I told him that I wasn't a programmer after he'd mispronounced a whole flotilla of software names, yelled at me "And why the hell am I talking to you?") Actually, they got really angry when they'd demand that I pass on any names and contact numbers for "any friends you might have who might be interested in this position," because I'd tell them that if I gave them the bozos' numbers, they wouldn't be friends any longer.